1) Friends of the CWB: I have already spoken to my friend and former farmer neighbor Art Macklin so he knows of my 'offensive' letter and approves of this circulation action. Please forward to any individuals who are concerned re the threat to Democracy by actions of the Harper Government. Thanks
2) Yesterday my Federal MP Chris Warkentin Peace River, while meeting with him in his office in Grande Prairie accompanied by two members of Kairos, while I was speaking on the subject of the CWB was less than receptive to any input on this topic. Input specifically as to the requirements of section 47.1 of the Act which I calls for a grain producer plebiscite for the proposed changes of removing single desk selling as per Bill C-18. Mr. Warkentin has a totally different understanding of this legislation as do Ag Minister Gerry Ritz and the Prime Minister.
Instead of hearing any further points, Mr. Warkentin visibly agitated, advised me in the company of the other two in the Kairos delegation that he has considered defamation charges or something of that nature if he did not get an apology via the newspaper for my letter. (see attachment above.)
My 'offending' letter has been published in the local Herald Tribune here in Grande Prairie and also in the Peace River Record Gazette. The Western Producer called me for confirmation last week so I anticipate it will also appear there shortly. I also sent it off to the Lethbridge Herald and the Red Deer Advocate.
So I would very much appreciate it if you folks would distribute widely this letter and this note of threat to me by my MP Chris Warkentin, Peace River.
I do not know how to attach this to the number of e-mail recipients that have been sent my way of late on this Crucial Bill C-18 now before the Senate. This unprecedented affront to Democratic process could indeed become law if we remain quiet. Perhaps some of you and your contacts will feel moved to write to one or more members of the Canadian Senate since Mr. Harper and his majority have rammed this through the House limiting debate last week.
If something should ever come of this I would go to jail before paying a fine or issuing an apology to Mr. Warkentin for expressing my Democratic right to Speak out via the press on the facts pertinent to Bill C-18 in a manner that at least 3 Newspaper Editors have not found libelous .
regards to you all;
Norm Dyck retired farmer, 72 years of age
3) Harper's About Face on CWB and Democracy
We all recall when House of Commons page, Bridgette Marcelle shocked the staid House during the spring Throne Speech by holding up her sign saying "STOP HARPER" . At that time, a majority of grain farmers and supporters of the Canadian Wheat Board already knew in their gut what was on the horizon. An attack on the CWB to remove single desk selling is now well underway in Ottawa by the Harper Government.
Single desk selling is central to the CWB's marketing strength that benefits all producers equitably regardless of size. The Board pays out to producers, confirmed by an Annual Outside Audit each crop year, all returns on grain sales less about 9 cents for operational costs. Can we expect such financial transparency from the grain cartels if Mr. Harper's Conservatives are successful in their efforts to hamstring the Board?
The Harper Government has introduced a very divisive and devious Bill, notably Bill C-18 presently before the House. This Bill if passed will by-pass current legislation put into law on Oct 7, 1997 by the then Liberal Government. The pertinent section is 47.1 of the CWB Act.
This section is unequivocal in its intent that no Minister responsible to the CWB shall bring in or exclude any grains for marketing outside the jurisdiction of the CWB without first having consulted with the Board and furthermore; any such proposed change can only be legitimatized and implemented by a clear transparent producer vote. Knowing this is the current law, Mr. Harper supported by Peace River MP Chris Warkentin and other members of their government are knowingly and willfully engaged a a series of procedural House shenanigans to do an end run around the democratic process by ramming through Bill C-18 and subverting the law. This action is reminiscent of authoritarian regimes, denying farmers the legitimate right to vote on a critical change to their Board at a time of financial instability in already jittery markets that grain sales are affected by.
Harper's Federal Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz, who is responsible to the Board, has shown absolutely no evidence despite repeated requests from opposition members of the House, to validate how the Board could function commercially for the benefit of farmers with the loss of its single desk selling mandate. The proposed changes in Bill C-18 with allowing farmers the option of bypassing the Board on export grain sales will essentially hollow out the Boards marketing strength and ultimately the international grain cartels will be the winners .
During the election the governments standard response was on CWB policy was 'that farmers must decide the future of the CWB'. That is all rhetoric and election promise now that Harper has his dubious majority. With a mere 40% of those who voted supporting him, his government promise on CWB policy has deceptively altered. Where Harper previously championed governing by the rule of law we are now witnessing him and his Government flaunting the law!
Prairie and Peace River grain farmers from the 1930's fought for and won the marketing powers that have been granted to the CWB so it can equitably serve them. The majority of them know what is at stake. The grain cartels will fair just nicely without aiding and abetting by the current Government! The House page Bridgette Marcelle was right.
9257 - 96 Ave.
Grande Prairie, Alta
4) PLT: Go ahead, Warkinton, you anti-free-speech zifhhbab8883x - sue me, too!