Year in Review: Marketing Freedom for Farmers

Harper, Waldes in wheatPrime Minister Stephen Harper (centre) visits with Robin and Brenda Walde in their field at Kindersley on the start of the open market for grain sales

It was the day that many farmers across Western Canada have waited decades for.

The start of the 2012-13 crop year on August 1st marked the end of the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk monopoly on western wheat and barley sales, meaning that farmers had the freedom to sell their grain to the buyer of their choice.

"I think there are a lot of Western Canadian farmers who never thought they would see this day come," said Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson, who was a long-time supporter of the change to an open market. "Never thought they'd see the day when they can go out and market their own product and bring it to market. People are excited, farmers are excited, they finally get the same opportunities in grains that they've had in other crops over the years."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper also celebrated the start of the new marketing era with a visit to a farm at Kindersley that day.

"Never, never, never again will Western farmers and ONLY Western farmers who grow their own wheat on their own land be told how to market their product," Harper told an enthusiastic crowd of farmers at the event.

The end of the single desk didn't mean the end of the Wheat Board. The now-voluntary board rebranded themselves as CWB, unveiled a new logo, and announced that farmers can deliver grain for their pooling contracts to any elevator in the west.

Although many farmers celebrated the end of the CWB's monopoly, others fought courtroom battles to try and maintain it. A group of former farmer-elected Wheat Board directors, including Swift Current-area farmer Stewart Wells, won a Federal Court ruling late in 2011 which found Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz broke the law when introducing the changes without a producer plebiscite. That ruling, however, was later overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal. The group announced they will appeal that decision with the Supreme Court of Canada, and it's still unknown when the SCOC hearing will be held.

More Year in Review stories:

Keystone XL Pipeline Rejected
Rick Hansen Relay
Central's Outdoor Classroom
City/RM Relations
Sentences in Major Court Cases
Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame Opens

Share This:

  • shaunavonparade 2013

    Parade of Lights Tonight in Shaunavon

    Thursday November 27, 2014

    Shaunavon will be kicking off the festive season tonight with all kinds of holiday events, highlighted by the annual Parade of Lights, spo

  • cypresshealth winter2014

    Influenza Confirmed in Cypress Lodge Outbreak

    Wednesday November 26, 2014

    An outbreak of influenza type A has been confirmed at the Cypress Lodge Nursing Home in Maple Creek. "We have put the facility in outbrea

  • allsaintsclassroom

    School Starting Before Labour Day in 2015

    Wednesday November 26, 2014

    The Saskatchewan government introduced legislation Tuesday that amends the Education Act to allow for school to begin before Labour Day, a

  • Youth Emergency Shelter Moving on in Aviva Competition

    Wednesday November 26, 2014

    It looks like the Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter will advance to the semi-finals of the Aviva Community Fund Competition. Sitting at 25t

  • shaunavonparade 2013

    Shop Shaunavon and Win

    Wednesday November 26, 2014

    The Shaunavon Chamber of Commerce encourages everyone to Shop in Shaunavon and win this holiday season. Shoppers can pick up a "Shop in S

Search Local News Archives

National News

  • View more