the all candidate CWB forum held in Portage la Prairie, the
following day I released the following information on how both Chuck
Fossay and Bill Toews were advancing a "pennies on the
dollar" federal government pay-out of the financial guarantees
Paul Martin's Liberal's signed away at the WTO accord.
Below is also segments of Senate transcripts (with full public link)
of how Bill Toews as shown that he is prepared to "go along
with the Liberals" even when it means shooting farmers in the
foot. At the all-candidates forum, it was my best assessment
that Bill Toews was repeating this pattern of behaviour.
Reading between the lines of the November 11 FIW issue provides
further public support of capturing what Bill said at the Portage
meeting and how far along he has moved along the path of once again
"going along to get along" with his hidden loyalties to
the federal liberals.
Now the material I released on November 11.
11, 2004 A.D.
Most farmers are very upset that the Federal Liberals' agreed to
give up the Federal financial guarantees to the Canadian Wheat Board
at the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) talks. At the CWB
all candidate forum just held in Portage la Prairie, the audience
learned that Bill Toews is willing to "go along" with
Toews went out of his way to accept the Liberal Government's
faint-hearted capitulation in the recent WTO talks and took the old
Liberal position of "compensation to farmers if necessary, but
not necessarily compensation." Losing this guarantee will take
millions and millions of dollars directly away from farmers and
place the CWB at the mercy of the banking cartel for financing.
The other alternative is to take more money out of farmers' pockets
to establish a contingency fund. Either way farmers lose and the CWB
is left more fragile than before.
Hiebert said he would fight the loss of the guarantee tooth and
nail. Should the Liberals plow ahead and capitulate to the private
trade, Hiebert added "nothing less than full compensation is
acceptable" and it is too bad that the other pro-CWB candidates
are so weak on this.
Each of the 4 candidates took a different position regarding the
Liberal's recent signing of the Cancun WTO accord. Chuck
Fossay, up first at the mike did not want to see the price guarantee
go, but "if it had to go" Fossay advocated asking for
"some" compensation for farmers.
Jack Froese demonstrated his "without question" allegiance
of "going along" with the multi-national agri-businesses
control of the world market place when in relation to a question on
GMO, he advocated plowing ahead with a full research program (paid
for by farmers or the Federal Government?) and then tabling the
investment until market acceptance was achieved. This he
explained would put Canadian farmers in the position of using this
technology to becoming the world's least cost volume grain producer.
A position totally at odds with our established practice of aiming
our production and marketing at the high quality, premium price end
of the wheat market. With Froese's one-time opt out option being the
equivalent of giving every single farmer the power to dismantle the
single desk against the will of all others, Froese's proposal would
be the final nail in the coffin of farmers as price makers, and
would reduce farmers to price takers. Hiebert received
approving laughter when he stated that none in Froese's nuclear
family including brother-in-law Harry Siemen would allow a spouse to
"opt out" of their marriage and continue calling it a
marriage with any fidelity. By now most farmers know that a
"pro dual market" is a dishonest position. Likewise,
Hiebert added that Froese's "opt out" from the single desk
would by definition destroy the fidelity of the single desk and is
no more honest than advancing the lie of a "dual market".
The signed WTO accord in chapter 18 states: "The
following will be eliminated by the end date to be agreed:... Trade
distorting practices with respect to exporting STEs (CWB) INCLUDING
ELIMINATING export subsidies provided to or by them, GOVERNMENT
FINANCING, and THE UNDERWRITING OF LOSSES. The issue of the future
use of monopoly powers will be subject to further negotiation
Eduard Hiebert stressed this decision must be fought tooth and nail
and if the Martin Liberals still go ahead, we must expect "full
compensation" for the government to give something away that
was neither a subsidy nor trade distorting as none of the dozen or
so US trade challenges against the CWB have ever found the CWB to be
a subsidy. Hiebert also pointed out that in 1998 Toews was
caught on government transcripts endorsing the then proposed CWB act
while the majority of pro CWB farmers did not. (See below for
details and link to the government transcripts.)
When Bill Toews answered the question on how to deal with the price
guarantee issue, in his view he stated the federal government's
initial CWB price guarantee "was more than likely history"
or a "decision cast in stone" and on the question of
compensation he sided with Chuck Fossay's formulation saying
"farmers should receive 'some' compensation" and cited the
pennies on the dollar Crow "by-out" as a model.
This is not Toews' first conversion to supporting partisan
Liberal policy. In 1996 he eventually came on board with the ad-hoc
steering committee that organized the rally to save the Wheat Board.
In 1998 the past committee members considered the question of coming
up with a submission to the Senate seeking input into the then
proposed CWB ACT so that we now have directors etc.
The views of the committee members were so divergent that they
agreed not to make a joint report, but individuals could do so on
Based on the transcripts committee members Andy Baker and Brad Mroz
did just that, voicing their preference not to pass the bill, but if
passed added further honest pro CWB choices.
Toews, in contradiction to the above appeared before the Senate
claiming to represent all of the farmer's who participated at the
rally as well as urging that the legislative bill be passed quickly
The full transcripts are available by clicking
An extract of some of the key statements follow below.
Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and
Issue 10 - Evidence - Afternoon sitting
WINNIPEG, Thursday, April 2, 1998
Mr. Bill Toews, Chair, Concerned Farmers Saving the Wheat Board: My
name is Bill Toews. With me today are Keith Ryan and Tim Groening.
After listening to a fair amount of the discussion up until now, I
have decided to change my presentation slightly. I will not be
sticking strictly to the presentation I have prepared. It was
interesting to hear how the numbers of farmers in Western Canada is
growing quickly. I suppose I could come in front of you and suggest
that I represent 70,000 farmers across Western Canada. I will not do
Senator Spivak: How could we check it out?
Mr. Toews: How could you check it out?
The Chairman: How long has your association been formed?
Mr. Toews: We formed it in 1996. I would like to give you a bit of a
preview. I was being a bit facetious since the last panel of
witnesses apparently represent me as well.
When various groups throw numbers around, there is a certain amount
of caution that should be required, whether it is the Manitoba
Canola Growers Association or a coalition.
There has been no method, for example, in the Canola Growers
Association, to determine what the opinion of canola growers really
is on this issue. I want to back away from that, though, and give
you an overview of what we are going to present.
Our written presentation describes who we are. There is a preamble
on the Canadian Wheat Board marketing system. There are some
suggestions about Bill C-4, about things that we have concerns
about, on governance, on the contingency fund, on operational
flexibility and on the inclusion and exclusion clauses.....
It is important to pass this bill. There are factions of opinion on
both sides of the issue, but the concerns about the inclusion
clauses are a bit of a red herring. The threat of having another
commodity in this type of an organization has always been there in
the sense that it just required Parliament to make that happen. It
is not as if that threat were not there before. The so-called threat
to the industry is not nearly as huge as certain groups may like,
however I return to the idea that things change....
At the back of my brief you will see printed the results of motions
made at our Grain Days meetings to seek withdrawal of Bill C-4.
These are the meetings held by the Canadian Wheat Board where
farmers vote on various matters. You will see that the motions
against Bill C-4 were passed by a large majority at most of the
meetings. I will also point out that the meetings were supportive of
the Canadian Wheat Board in many cases.
In conclusion, many organizations have requested a major overhaul of
this legislation and have been ignored. Very few changes have been
made. History tells us that when government makes such fundamental
changes to the nature of a marketing agency, they conduct a
plebiscite with producers to determine what they think and what they
feel. I believe that this is a fundamental change.
I know Mr. Whelan used to conduct votes to determine if farmers
wanted a certain marketing plan. I believe this is a fundamental
change that should require a plebiscite.
I believe the trade policy and deregulation of transportation will
continue to undermine the Canadian Wheat Board. The Senate has a
responsibility to see that the Canadian Wheat Board, which is envied
by other countries' farmers, is not undermined by this legislature.
Bill C-4 is flawed legislation that really should be withdrawn.
Mr. Baker: ...
I did not want to be the one to come here and say that I am against
change, that we should scrap the bill and to ask what was wrong with
the way the board was operating....
It is plain and simple. Why are we spending all this energy arguing
over things that we can settle by doing just one or two things? We
can either leave the board the way it is now -- and it is operating
just fine; they are returning a heck of a pile to my pocket -- or we
can make the changes to the board of the directors....
I did not come here to say scrap the bill, but everybody else seems
to be saying that, so maybe it is not such a bad thing to scrap it.
Personally I do not think it will happen. We will see some change in
the way farmers are elected to the board. Then let us do that. Why
are we arguing about inclusion and exclusion and a contingency fund?
Let us elect the board. They will decide whether we need a
contingency fund. They will decide what gets included. If there are
enough farmers there to vote to include something, we will include
it. If there are enough farmers to get rid of wheat from the board,
we will get rid of wheat from the board.
Mr. Mroz: ...
I support the issue of the inclusion clause. In a democratic way, it
would be the only way for farmers to decide which crops should be
marketed through the Canadian Wheat Board. The Canadian Wheat Board
is their marketing agency, and those producers elected should have
the right, when representing farmers properly, to use the inclusion
clause to include crops if they so wish. Without that inclusion
clause, I do not think this legislation would provide a fair way to
go about making changes.