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ACTION ALERT: Non-farmers asked to help defend the Canadian Wheat Board

The National Farmers Union is calling on non-farmers to join the campaign to defend the Canadian Wheat Board. The NFU states, “Farmers are organizing and protesting. But to save our democratically controlled marketing agency, farm families need your help, and the help of the organizations with which you work. The loss of the CWB will hurt every Canadian family.”

Take action!
The NFU says, “What is needed right now is for Canadians to write two short letters:
1- One to Prime Minister Harper, asking him to scrap Bill C-18, his destroy-the-CWB legislation, and to instead enact policies that foster Food Sovereignty and a strong Canadian nation and economy; and

2- One to Canadian Senators, asking them to resist pressure to fast-track Bill C-18, and to instead give careful and adequate consideration to this detailed and far-reaching legislation; to hold meetings of their Agriculture Committee; and to hear presentations from farmers, workers, businesspeople, and other Canadians who will be affected by this legislation.”

They ask that you fax your letter to Stephen Harper (613-941-6900), the Clerk of the Senate (613-992-7959), and one copy marked ‘Sent’ to the National Farmers Union (306-664-6226).

To assist you in writing your letter, they offer ‘Seven Reasons Non-Farmers Should Care…And Act’ to Save the Canadian Wheat Board. To read that list, please go to http://www.grazingdays.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/7-reasons-Non-Farmers-Should-Care.pdf.

The Council of Canadians fighting to save the Canadian Wheat Board

– September 14: We signed on to a National Farmers Union letter-writing campaign to defend the Canadian Wheat Board. That letter states, “Ending the single desk authority of the CWB would throw western agriculture into turmoil and would transfer wealth created by Canadian farmers to big private, often foreign-owned grain companies instead of being returned to farmers and spent in their communities.” To add your name as an individual to this letter, please go to https://www.cwb.ca/db/corp/petition.nsf/onlinepetitionWeb?OpenForm. If you live in Manitoba, go to this web link, http://www.gov.mb.ca/farmers/.

– October 28: Our chairperson Maude Barlow spoke in defence of the Canadian Wheat Board at a noon-hour rally in front of the Canadian Wheat Board office on Main Street in Winnipeg. To see a video of her speech, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11588.

– November 2: We submitted an affidavit seeking to intervene in the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board challenge. That challenge will argue that Section 47 of the Canadian Wheat Board Act requires a vote by grain producers to remove the single-desk marketing authority of the Canadian Wheat Board, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11650.

– November 2: At the CUPE national convention in Vancouver, Barlow told the audience, “Stephen Harper doesn’t like farmers. He has decided to unilaterally kill the Canadian Wheat Board, a 75‐year old farmer run marketing board that brings a fair return to the farm gate and economic benefits to the community.”

– November 4: We issued an action alert asking people to send a text-message in support of the Canadian Wheat Board, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11738.

– November 11: We helped spread the word about the National Farmers Union fax campaign asking non-farmers to write Harper demanding that he scrap C-18 and to the Canadian Senate asking them to resist pressure to fast-track the bill (see above).

– November 15, at 10 am: We will join a farmer demonstration in support of the Canadian Wheat Board on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The NFU says, “Come out, challenge this government, and take a strong stand for democracy, proper procedure, fairness, rule of law, and a Canadian agriculture policy that respects and supports family farms.”

– December 6: A judge in Winnipeg is scheduled to hear arguments on the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board challenge. This is the challenge that the Council of Canadians, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, ETC, and Food Secure Canada have sought to intervene in.

– December 16: Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he wants C-18 to be passed by Christmas. December 16 is the last sitting day of the House of Commons and it is scheduled to adjourn on December 21. If C-18 is passed, the single desk authority of the Canadian Wheat Board would be end on August 1, 2012.

For Council of Canadians blogs on the Canadian Wheat Board, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?s=%22canadian+wheat+board%22.