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Harper Government Supports Canadian Wheat Board

29 June 2012

CANADA - The Harper Government yesterday (28 June) announced a one-time injection to provide a strong foundation for the Canadian Wheat Board’s (CWB) transition into the new grain marketing era.

"The Harper Government promised an orderly transition to an open market for western Canadian producers, and we have delivered," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"We have always said that we support the CWB under a new voluntary model that gives farmers the freedom to choose how they market their grain. This one-time injection will put the CWB on stable footing as a competitive marketing option for Canadian farmers."

Minister Ritz committed to provide a one-time injection of nearly $350 million to the CWB to cover costs associated with its transition from a single-desk marketing agency to a competitive grain marketing organisation. By reaffirming the Government’s steadfast commitment to a viable, voluntary CWB, farmers, customers and the entire value chain can have greater confidence and certainty about the future of the CWB.

The investment will help defray certain transition costs as the CWB adjusts to operating in an open market such as pension and post-employment benefits, severance, computer systems, winding up the final statutory pool accounts and decommissioning costs. The pools for current and future years will continue to be used to pay for the normal operations of the CWB.

The Harper Government is also assisting the grain industry’s transition through the implementation of a producer check-off for grain research and market development activities performed by the Western Grains Research Foundation, the Canadian International Grains Institute and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre.

As well, the Government is assisting the Port of Churchill in maintaining its historical levels of grain shipments, including efforts to diversify.

"Western Canadian producers can now look to the future with confidence and choose the marketing option that makes the most sense for their own farms," concluded Minister Ritz.

"Positive change takes commitment and resources. We have delivered the support necessary to ensure a smooth transition."

TheCropSite News Desk

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