Conservatives object to Wheat Board Lobbyist

Waldeck - Tuesday, November 2, 2004 - by:Joyce Neufeld


A recent mailout by a Conservative member of parliament criticizes Candadian Wheat Board Directors for hiring a lobbyist and complains about her political connections. Perhaps the Conservatives are taking advantage of their M.P. mailing privileges to do a little third party campaigning during this fallís Canadian Wheat Board farmer elections.




Do the Conservatives object to all lobbyists or only Canadian Wheat Board lobbyists? Organizations doing policy work in Ottawa know there is real value in lobbying politicians and bureaucrats. I would be prepared to bet, for example, that railways have recently lobbied our Conservative M.P.s ó the ones complaining about lobbying - regarding railcar ownership.  It appears to have worked!  The Conservative Party is not supporting the farmer bid to acquire the railcars. The railways want them, you see.




A lobbyist putting forward the farmer position on issues like transportation, Genetically Modified Organisims and trade could make quite a difference to our bottom line on the farm. For example, the Government of Canada is contemplating discontinuing the government guarantee on borrowings for the Canadian Wheat Board. The guarantee provides farmers with security of payment and is a huge financial benefit to farmers at almost no cost to the Government of Canada. A lobbyist able to persuade the Government of Canada to maintain the guarantee would, indeed, be worth her weight in gold to farmers.




I think the Canadian Wheat Board Directors made the right decision when they hired a lobbyist. If the Conservatives want to end the practice of lobbying, I suggest they start by throwing the railway lobbyist out of their offices. They can give us an update on how that went in their next M.P. mailout. Can we expect that story from them in our farm mailboxes during the Canadian Wheat Board elections?



Joyce Neufeld

  GWR Online, Canadian Wheat Board Lobbyist Challenged, August 31, 2004, Swift Current Online


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