Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I hear from prairie farmers on both sides of this issue and it is fair to say there are prairie farmers on both sides of this issue. The ones I am hearing from primarily are concerned that the smaller farmers will be less able to manage without the single desk and they do want the plebiscite.

I am concerned that farms will go out of business and that main street small town businesses will be disadvantaged. I am wondering if there are some studies to which the hon. member can direct us that speak to the issue of the economic negative consequences of this legislation.

Mr. Brian Storseth: Mr. Speaker, western Canadian and small farmers already market their own products such as canola where the acreage for products like it is shooting through the roof. They have to market that on their own. There is not going to be a change there. They will also still have the opportunity of the pooling agency if they want. If anything, this is going to be an advantage because the pooling agency is going to be using farmers’ money for what it is supposed to be used for. I am hopeful for less bureaucracy and less money being taken out of our farmers’ pockets.

I focused my comments today on younger farmers in particular, many of whom are my friends in western Canada and they are looking forward to this because they are already marketing their own product. As the document I referred to from June 2008 shows, $450 million to $628 million a year more, and that was a few years ago, in the pockets of farmers is a significant increase of direct capital injection into their operations.