Orlando Nickel for the Canadian Wheat Board gestures during a Provost and District Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday night. He showed slides and described the activities of the federally-regulated organization that was established in 1935. ©Provost News Photo.
Expect Aggressive Challenges to Canadian
Wheat Board From USA . . . Says Chamber Speaker
The Canadian Wheat Board can expect aggressive challenges in the coming years, particularly from the United States, says CWB farm business representative Orlando Nickel.
He was a guest speaker at the Provost and District Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday night when 12 others attended.
Nickel added that the main challenge may come over complaints to the boards single desk marketing system. Some countries claim it is unfair, but the CWB does not agree with that assessment, saying that it is simply a trade advantage.
I thought we had free trade . . . but apparently not said Nickel, in reference to the USA challenge. He appeared confident that an upcoming ruling would again favour the Canadian marketing system in world trade.
The Sherwood Park guest says that the last nine challenges made to the CWB have all been won by the body over the years.
The 19 year CWB veteran told those present that the organizations key strengths include single desk selling, price pooling and financial guarantees.
An estimated 85,000 western farmers are allowed to market their own wheat, durum and barley only through the agency because of a federal act of parliament in 1935 that applies to Western Canada only. The CWB does not control production, handling or processing.
When asked by The News why Ontario farmers were not obliged to sell the same grains through the CWB, Nickel suggested that the Eastern farmers have not expressed a desire to join such a system.
When asked about the Alberta Governments intentions to talk to the federal government about more freedom for Albertans to sell their farm products, Nickel said that they (Albertans) already are free to discuss the issue with the federal government and didnt need to pass provincial legislation to do so. They could have negotiated anyway.
Earlier that day general manager for the Alberta Grain Commission, Brenda Brindle told The News in a telephone conversation from her Edmonton office that in August she had taken in a meeting in Ontario that dealt with open markets in Ontario.
She added that Im convinced there will be free markets in Alberta eventually.
Brindle says that Bill 207 that allows the agricultural minister to enter in to an agreement with the federal agricultural minister was passed in Alberta but has been put on the back burner, likely because of the problems with mad cow disease.
The Alberta Grain Commission is a body of eight farmers from across the province, two senior representatives from Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and one MLA. The group advises and makes recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development on current and emerging issues and trends in the grain industry.
Full story in October 1 edition of The Provost News.
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