The Honourable Ralph Goodale
House of Commons
Dear Minister Goodale,
Re: Public Audit of Canadian Wheat Board’s Assets and their Disposition to G3
The National Farmers Union was pleased to hear that you are looking into what happened to the Canadian Wheat Board and its assets under the previous government, as reported by the Manitoba Cooperator in November 2015. We are among the farmers who are curious about the financial transactions that led up to the CWB being privatized. Ending the single desk has a multi-billion dollar annual impact on western farmers, indeed, upon the whole Canadian economy.
The privatization of the physical assets of the CWB – its building, railcars, lakers – and its human resources – personnel with expertise and long-standing relationships with customers — is another significant, strategic loss to Canada. The transfer of these assets to G3, the partnership between a US-based multinational corporation and the Saudi agriculture investment fund – former customers of the single-desk CWB, adds insult to injury.
We believe there needs to be a public audit of the CWB’s finances leading up to its privatization. Farmers have a right to know what was done with the assets, which were built up by the single-desk CWB through its prudent management of the grain we produced. As citizens, we also believe Canadians have a right to know how public dollars were used to prepare the CWB for privatization, and what, if anything was received from G3 in return for the assets of this once-vital institution.
As the person who was formerly the Minister responsible for the CWB under previous Liberal government, you understand our concern and share our interest in bringing to light the details of the shameful transaction.
(original signed by)
Jan Slomp, President
National Farmers Union
cc: Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
cc: Chris Warkentin, Conservative Ag Critic
cc: Ruth Ellen Brosseau, NDP Ag Critic
cc: Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader & M.P.
cc: Simon Marcil, Bloc Québécois Ag Critic