Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cooperative efforts

CBC reports that while it took awhile to materialize, a new coalition has come together to defend the Canadian Wheat Board against the Cons' intended attack:
A newly formed coalition of Prairie farm groups is trying to put the brakes on moves to end the Canadian Wheat Board's grain-marketing monopoly.

It's called the Prairie Producer Coalition and includes the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Keystone Agricultural Producers and Wild Rose Agricultural Producers...

The coalition, which met for the first time in Winnipeg on Wednesday, plans to examine the issue and then release a report which they plan to make available to farmers...

NFU president Stewart Wells said farmers have to regain control over the wheat board.

"Over the last couple of months, the federal government has given every indication that it has no respect whatsoever for the Canadian Wheat Board Act and the actual laws of the country," he said.
As I've noted before, the movement may be starting off on a questionable legal footing to the extent that it seems to view a plebiscite as a required step in the CWB's destruction. But the coordinated effort should force the Cons to come to terms with just how much of their rural base stands to lose out if the Cons force the change on Western Canada. And that effect will be particularly strong since the inclusion of SARM means that the fight to preserve the CWB goes beyond producers alone - which means the Cons may have no choice but to pay attention to the fact that their apparent disdain for the interests of the rural Prairies may easily be repaid in kind at the polls.

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