Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I had an exchange with the hon. member for Peace River and I have gone back to check that indeed the Wheat Board will allow for sales of organic wheat. I agree the Wheat Board will not go out of its way to help farmers sell organic wheat, but it is possible to do a single contract. The buyback paperwork is a bit of a hassle, but they are able to sell organic wheat at a premium price.

How does the hon. member distinguish how we treat western farmers from what happened to the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board, also started back in the 1950s? There was a plebiscite and a two-thirds majority vote of those Ontario wheat farmers is why they are not covered by a marketing board. Why is the government applying a different standard to the western Canadian hard wheat farmers?

Mr. James Bezan: Mr. Speaker, I can tell members that our personal experience on my family farm is that the Wheat Board is extremely oppressive when it comes down to dealing with it with organic wheat. We do not get the premium because of the buyback, the paperwork and the associated costs. Even though the wheat never leaves the producers’ yard, it is still stuck in their bins. They still have to pay the transportation costs as if it is going to port position. Those are dollars the producers lose automatically even though we will have contracts with millers and organic food processors who are actually FOB in the yard. They are paying the trucking costs, not my dad, my brother or other organic farmers. That is why there is such a discrepancy and why producers in the organic industry do not appreciate Canadian Wheat Board one way or the other.