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NEWS: Liberals ask Governor-General to block wheat board legislation

Governor-General David Johnston

Governor-General David Johnston

The Globe and Mail reports, “The Liberals are urging Governor-General David Johnston to refuse granting royal assent to the Harper government’s bill to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board. The third party’s last-ditch attempt to preserve the agency’s monopoly came Monday in an open letter delivered to Rideau Hall. It cites a Federal Court ruling last week that found the Conservatives broke the law by not putting their legislation to a plebiscite among farmers.”

The Council of Canadians, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Food Secure Canada, and the ETC Group were represented by lawyer Steven Shrybman in the Federal Court challenge that found that the Harper government had violated the Canadian Wheat Board Act by not seeking a plebiscite with farmers before introducing C-18, the legislation to end the CWB monopoly.

The open letter from Liberal leader Bob Rae to the Governor-General states, “The government has indicated that it will appeal this decision. Despite this ongoing dispute about the legality of its actions, the Government is proceeding with the consideration of Bill C-18 in the Senate. …The government will almost certainly seek Royal Assent for this legislation in the coming days. As Leader of the Liberal Party, I would ask most respectfully that full consideration be given to awaiting final disposition of this matter by the courts before the legislation receives Royal Assent.”

The Globe and Mail notes, “The government has been aggressively pressing forward with the act using measures such as time allocation to limit debate in the House and the Senate. It now appears that the bill will go to a vote in the Tory-dominated Red Chamber on Thursday (December 15).”

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