Changes introduced to the CWB Act

The government of Canada is introducing a change to the Canadian Wheat Board Act to ensure that members of the board are elected solely by Western Canadian farmers who are commercially producing grain.
Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agricultural and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, introduced Bill C-57 in the House of Commons on May 27.

By Eraina Hooyer

Staff Reporter

The government of Canada is introducing a change to the Canadian Wheat Board Act to ensure that members of the board are elected solely by Western Canadian farmers who are commercially producing grain.

Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agricultural and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, introduced Bill C-57 in the House of Commons on May 27.

“You earn the right to call yourself a farmer by growing crops, not by filing paperwork,” said Ritz in a press release. “This government is making sure the Canadian Wheat Board listens to real farmers by introducing this legislation to give farmers a stronger voice in director elections.”

This change will make sure that voters in CWB director elections are true farmers who have produced at least 120 tonnes of grain in either of the two crop years before the election. The government of Canada anticipates having these eligibility requirements in place for the director elections in the fall of 2008.

“The CWB must be responsive to farmers and this government’s legislation delivers that accountability,” said Ritz.

The present legislation allows any producer to vote in director elections. Many producers who are named in a permit book have retired, rented out their land, or only grow small amounts of grain as a hobby.