Canadian Wheat Board (B)

Mr. David Anderson: Madam Speaker, I appreciated the member opposite’s comments. She seems to be a little more rational than some of the other folks on the other side who have been bringing forward points that need to be considered here.

I am very glad to have folks from across Canada talk about these issues that affect western Canadian farmers, but I am not sure that she understands how much the communication issues have changed, the information issues have changed and the transportation issues have changed in western Canada since 1935. She seems to think that we still need a system that holds farmers in place and that they should know their place.

Does she understand the reality of how things have changed on the farms? Farmers are probably more often aware of information than even the grain companies themselves. Does she not think that is a good reason to give them their freedom to market their own grain and make their own business decisions?

Ms. Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, as leader of the Green Party I have 305 candidates across the country and they represent the same areas that all the members in this House represent. The agricultural critic on the Green Party shadow cabinet, Kate Storey, and her husband are wheat farmers in Manitoba. They have informed me about what it is like for them to try to make a living as organic wheat farmers. They made that transition themselves.

I certainly am aware of how much has changed since 1935, but I believe that farmers should have the right to choose for themselves whether it is time to get rid of the Wheat Board and the single desk. In this instance, I think the government should have paid attention to the way the legislation was drafted and ensured that any decisions about getting rid of the single desk were based on a vote by the farmers. That is the freedom I think farmers want to have.