Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers


Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Wheat Board Plebiscite

Yesterday, the Conservatives announced three ballot options for an upcoming mail-in vote on the Canadian Wheat Board’s marketing of barley: (1) maintain single-desk marketing, (2) end the Board’s marketing of barley, or (3) have the Board market barley without its monopoly.

In effect, Board elections have always been plebiscites on the organization’s role and supporters of single-desk marketing have always won. Earlier this month, the Government of Manitoba held an explicit plebiscite. The vote in favour of the Board was 70% for wheat and 62% for barley. Given that the Conservatives are inclined to dismantle the Board, but most western farmers clearly support single-desk marketing, two aspects of the Conservative strategy stand out.

First, by presenting three options, the federal plebiscite reduces the likelihood of majority (50%+1) support for any one option. If options 2 and 3 together garner more votes than option 1, the result could be interpreted as a democratic mandate to remove the Board’s monopoly. This scenario seems probable given that option 3 misleadingly appears to be the “compromise” choice. In fact, the real issue is whether or not to deploy the market power of a monopoly on behalf of western farmers selling grain into volatile world markets.

Second, the federal plebiscite focuses on barley, which is mainly sold within Canada rather than exported through the Board. Single-desk marketing is less relevant to barley than to wheat. As the Manitoba vote revealed, support for single-desk marketing is stronger for wheat than for barley.  Perhaps more importantly, whereas wheat production is concentrated in Saskatchewan, barley production is concentrated in Alberta, the province least supportive of single-desk marketing.

I hope that the Board’s supporters will be able to mobilize a majority of barley producers to vote for option 1. Otherwise, this three-option barley plebiscite may be the thin edge of the wedge, allowing Conservatives to chip away at the Board even though most western farmers support single-desk marketing.

Enjoy and share:


Comment from Greg
Time: July 26, 2007, 12:39 pm

What is the difference between the 12 farmers from southern Alberta who controvened the CWB Act and Strahl (who has done the same)? What was there jail time? I forget now.

Write a comment

Related articles