Saskatoon, Sask. – The National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling on federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to respect Western wheat and barley farmers, who voted in favour of the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) single desk in the recent CWB plebiscite. “Farmers have clearly shown that they support the single desk, and the advantages it clearly brings, just as they always have. The message that farmers have sent Ritz is crystal clear. It is absolutely necessary that he respect the wishes of the majority of Western grain farmers, and abandon his plans to eliminate the single desk,” said NFU President Terry Boehm.
It is simply bad public policy to eliminate something as beneficial as the CWB,” added Boehm. “Why would Minister Ritz spend his time and our tax dollars to do something this harmful to our economy and farmers?” asked Boehm.
The CWB announced the official plebiscite results earlier today. Farmers had until August 24th to mail in their ballots. The results were as follows: 62 percent of wheat farmers, and 51 percent of barley farmers voted in favour of maintaining the CWB’s single desk. Regarding the participation rate, 56 percent of all farmers who received ballots and 60 percent of farmers who grew both wheat and barley on their farms, participated in the plebiscite.
"We’ve always known that the majority of farmers support the single desk. This plebiscite has confirmed this once again,” stated Boehm.