NDPStands with Canadian farmers as Conservatives push to dismantle institution.

OTTAWA – With today’s vote in the House of Commons, the Conservatives are one step closer to dismantling a critical and valued institution for Canadian farmers. “It is yet another example of this government acting against the best interests of Canadians,” said Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley).

The bill will dismantle the Canada Wheat Board and without it, farmers will struggle to survive. Smaller scale and family farmers are particularly at risk of being swallowed up by larger corporations like Cargill.

Most frustrating is the refusal of the Conservatives to consult fully with those most affected – the farmers. Cullen blasted the conservatives for this anti-democratic move.

“We’ve seen this before and unfortunately, I don’t think this is the last time we’re going to see this government ignoring Canadians. The majority of farmers clearly support the Wheat Board and are against its closure. The question is why won’t the government listen?”

Under current legislation, the government must consult through a democratic vote with both the Wheat Board and farmers. Their failure to do so amounts to breaking the law.

The NDP criticised the conservatives for excluding farmers from deciding their future and leaving it to ministerial discretion. “There’s no other way to put it. It’s a shameful assault on the democratic process,” said Cullen.

With the bill in third reading in the House, all that remains is the unelected Senate’s rubber stamp, before it becomes law.