Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

It's a brand new day

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Re: Farmers' pardons another slap in the face (Aug. 11). While western Canadian farmers look forward to the exciting opportunities that marketing freedom brings, it's unfortunate that Laura Rance is unable to. Once again, let me correct Rance on a few of her facts.

Farmers and the Federal Court of Appeal have clearly said that no plebiscite was required before the introduction of the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act. The courts have rightly said that the government of the day has the right to introduce new legislation, amend existing legislation and repeal existing legislation.

Further to Rance's claim about support for the old Canadian Wheat Board, it was shown in the board's own spring survey last year that the majority of farmers preferred dual marketing to the outdated single desk.

Dual marketing is exactly what farmers now have. No longer will government dictate how western farmers must sell their grain. Farmers who see value in pooling their grain will still be able to use the CWB.

In order to ensure this option remains viable, our government has delivered on our commitment to backstop the new CWB for up to five years.

It is only right that with his new era, all farmers, including those who were unfairly jailed by Ralph Goodale's government, be given a fresh start. That is exactly what Prime Minister Stephen Harper did on Aug. 1.

GERRY RITZ

Agriculture Minister

Ottawa

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 18, 2012 A14

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