EDMONTON, AB (August 1, 2012): Today, the Wildrose Official Opposition joins farmers across Alberta in celebrating Marketing Freedom Day and the official end of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) monopoly. Starting today, for the first time in decades, Alberta farmers will be able to sell their wheat and barley products on the open market, free from the constraints imposed by the Wheat Board.
“Today is a great day for Alberta,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “Marketing Freedom Day marks the end of a decades-long battle between western farmers and the federal government and I’m thrilled that it ends with a resounding victory for freedom and free markets.” Last year, the federal government passed the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, which allows farmers to voluntarily sell their grain either through the CWB or on the open market. Wildrose Agriculture Critic Ian Donovan thanked all those who fought for marketing freedom over the years, including the countless farmers who stood up for their rights and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government for providing the leadership and political will to end the monopoly. “This day is a long time coming everyone who fought this fight, from individual farmers, to advocates to political leaders,” Donovan said. “All Albertans owe a debt of gratitude to them for their courage and determination in seeing this through.” Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman, one of several farmers who served jail time for protesting the Wheat Board monopoly in 2002, said that the end of the CWB monopoly will mean a better future for the next generation of Alberta farmers. “For too long, the CWB denied Alberta farmers the freedom to choose how and where they sold their product,” Strankman said. “But today, finally, farmers can finally chart out their own course to prosperity without the CWB looking over their shoulder.”