PM celebrates marketing freedom in Western Canada
By The Office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Aug. 8, 2012, Kindersley, SK - Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that, as a result of the coming into force of Bill C-18, the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, Western farmers now have the freedom to sell their wheat and barley on the open market. He was accompanied by Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. The Prime Minister also announced pardons for a group of farmers convicted under the old, unjust Canada Wheat Board monopoly.
“Our Government is committed to creating open markets that will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs and build a stronger economy for all Canadians,” said the Prime Minister. “The legislation coming into force today enables Canadian grain farmers to choose how they market their crops and allows the grain sector to evolve, grow and reach its full potential.”
The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act is an important part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to strengthen and modernize Canada’s grain industry. In conjunction with initiatives to increase investments in grain research and expand international markets, as well as the Rail Freight Service Review, the Government is doing everything possible to ensure the agriculture sector can reap the rewards of a dynamic and growing global marketplace.
The Canadian Government continues to work with its provincial counterparts, producer groups and the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) to ensure an orderly transition to an open and competitive Canadian grain market. The voluntary CWB remains a viable marketing option for Canadian farmers and is poised to compete for farmers’ business in this new era of marketing freedom.
The Government’s top priority continues to be the economy, and the agriculture industry plays an important role in creating jobs and keeping the economy strong. Canada is the world’s fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and food products, with exports hitting an all-time high of more than $40 billion in 2011.