Talk:Canadian Wheat Board

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September 2004[edit]

Some information (or links to it) on the nature of American grain subsidies would be useful. Also a link to Common agricultural policy or similar. Mr. Jones 09:34, 17 Sep 2004 (UTC)


The CWB is not a Monopsony. It is a single-desk seller of wheat and barley, hence Monopoly, not Monopsony. I think we should change it. Yes? No? Thanks.

RE: Of course the CWB is a monopsony. If you think that the CWB is the ONLY seller of wheat then you must have some serious mental conditions. Only 20% of the worlds wheat is sold by the CWB, so, I'm trying to figure where these idiotic delusions of yours come from. It could just be that you're some stupid beaurocratic asshole who thinks hes funny spreading propaganda such as what you have written here. Thanks 03:11, 11 December 2006 (UTC)ProudFarmer

Hey "ProudFarmer", The CWB is a Monopoly as far as Western Canadian Farmers are concerned as it is the only seller on behalf of farmer of our Wheat and Barley for International consumption and for human domestic consumption. Wheat and Barley can be traded or sold into the Domestic animal feed market only without going through the CWB. In economics, a monopsony is a market form with only one buyer, called "monopsonist," facing many sellers. It is an instance of imperfect competition, symmetrical to the case of a monopoly, in which there is only one seller facing many buyers. I know that many critics of the CWB would like people to think it is a buyer of our grain but it will alway be considered a seller on behalf of farmers as a proper definition. After the Conservative government changes the CWB to be a buyer and hence another grain company, the CWB will soon be bankrupt and then gone from the grain market because it has no facilities. And the idiot CWB hating farmers that think their world will be better will soon follow the CWB along with the dinosaurs into extinction. An Old Cow Hand and Wheat grower.

It is a monopoly from the perspective of Canadian farmers, but not the only seller of wheat on the world market.

I removed some of the worst unsigned off-topic polemics. I hope nobody is overly offended. Regarding the monopoly / monopsony debate, the CWB is clearly a monopsonist. It does act as a single seller of Canadian prairie wheat, but that it has not earned not been explicitly granted that monopoly. It has it as a result of being the only agency legally entitled to buy such wheat. A farmer has the choice of selling to the CWB, letting his crop rot or going to jail. The criminal sanctions apply to the CWB's purchase of wheat, making it a monopsony. JakartaDean (talk) 08:28, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

A Fair bit of Bias[edit]

Some shots at Strahl, also as though written by the CWB itself. I'm somewhat sympathetic to the viewpoint, but it's still an npov problem. Gabrielthursday 00:06, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Changes made by thrace[edit]

I just made quite a few changes to the page, although quite a few more should be made in order for it to be accurate. I'm new to Wikipedia so I noticed after the fact that there was a request not to make changes to the page because it was 'controversial'. Anyway, I hope this is not a problem. Quite a few more changes need to be made, and I'm sure my own additions will need some edits. A few of the edits I made were meant to better reflect recent events around the wheat board and the news articles already cited in the page. For example, it was previously suggested that 7 out of 15 districts elected farmers who supported Strahl's plan for the board. This is not what happened and nor is it even what is suggested by the news article cited. Only 10 directorships are elected and only 5 are up for election at any one time. In the election 4 out of 5 of the farmers elected support the single desk (which means they oppose Strahl's plan) leaving the board in the position it was in before the election with 8 out of 10 farmer elected directors supporting its monopoly. The news article cited implies that this was a defeat for Strahl, but the page as it was previously written implies the reverse. Furthermore the page previously suggested that many farmers were disenfranchised suggesting that this places real doubts on the result without identifying who did the disenfranchising. Many farmers were disenfranchised but they were disenfranchised by Strahl, the minister of agriculture, during the election period. The absence of this information means that the article seems to imply that Strahl's 'side' almost won the election but lost because farmers were disenfranchised. In fact Strahl's side lost 4 out of 5 seats in spite of the fact that Strahl intervened to have several thousand farmers taken off the voter's list. The fact that Strahl can still count on the support of 7 of the 15 directors is that 5 are appointees, appointed by the government and accountable to him as the minister of agriculture. The farm community in Western Canada is certainly divided on the wheatboard but it is not as narrowly divided as was suggested.

I took out the claim that the board is actually a monopsony. This is a claim that could only be made by opponents of the board and I think one would be hard pressed to find a mainstream source (both for or against) which use that term to describe the board. It might make sense, to identify that some opponents consider the board to be a monopsony rather than a monopoly emphasing its relationship to farmers over its relationship to outside buyers, but I'm not even sure if this terminology is widely used by its opponents. And economically speaking I think one would be hard pressed to justify this claim. The Wheat Board, as a marketing board for farmers does not make a profit because of the requirement that farmers sell through it. It is a non profit agency. It does not accrue market power to anyone over its monopsony with Canadian farmers. It is supposed to operate as a monopoly over the selling of Western Canadian wheat and barley in order increase the market power of farmers in the world market. One could make an argument that the board fails to operate an effective monopoly (and its opponents often do make that argument) but that is a different argument and has nothing to do with monopsony.

I also tried to explain the different positions on the board in a bit more detail, although this needs some more detail, and some citation.

I'm pro board and this might come through in my changes. I tried to be fair to the anti-board side, but may have not been altogether successful. I'm open to changes but was very irritated at the way the current issues around the board were represented before.

One last note. It is false that farmer have served jail time because of the wheat board or the wheat board act. Years ago, in the 1990s, some farmers opposed to the wheat board sought to cross the US border with truckloads of grain. They refused to disclose the contents of the trucks and had the trucks impounded under the Canada customs act (which has no connection to the Board). They then broke into parking lot where there trucks were impounded took them back and were arrested. They were charged and found guilty under the customs act and opted to serve jail time rather than pay the fine because the optics on that were better for their cause. Anyway, this kind of claim is all the better for citation, but there is currently no citation on the claim on the page that farmers were arrested for selling wheat outside the wheat board.


Have your edits disappeared from the current page? Also The page as it is currently does not have any information about the Ag Minister's court battle over the, see 10:21, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Also-- the word 'monopsony' still appears in the Categories link at the bottom, I guess I'll remove that based on what you're saying. 10:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

More history needed[edit]

why was it created in 1935? Did farmers ask for it? What was the climate, if they asked for it, like?

I've seen some links for this, maybe someone else can add more 08:44, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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Bias and poor writing[edit]

This article contains far too much bias. Many statements are made without references or links to external sources. Some statements appear to be the personal beliefs of the writer. This article is also very weak in its content and does not provide a true in-depth understanding at what the CWB is, how it operates, how it fulfils its mandate etc. It needs a serious look from a neutral 3rd party. As a Canadian not from the west, I have a hard time understanding this entity. All I can get is people screaming on both sides as to why this thing is evil or great. I do not understand why this entity exists in Canada and why it is permitted to operate in this manner given where society is at in 2010. I spoke to some farmers here and there and they too cannot explain it clearly to me. All I hear is that it's evil. That's not an argument. Could it be that this entity had a valid mandate at one time but that global realities have made it obsolete or the organization simply has not kept up? I have no clue. It's not Wikipedia's job to sort this out for me but at least if I had a factual representation of what the CWB is, how it operates, what it does, who is for it, against then I could make my own decisions. But there is little information here.

I would also like to know how many employees the CWB has, what the various divisions are, what they do etc. It would also be nice to understand the process a farmer must go through from planting seeds to collecting monies. For such a big entity if it is true that it's the largest single seller of wheat in the world and given how important wheat is, then I think a good understanding of this entity is warranted. There must be a reason this CWB is a mystery to most people. It would also be nice to have background info as to why it is mandatory for a farmer to participate in this system. If I purchase private land, purchase my seeds, my equipment, labor etc. then why is a government entity allowed to force me to sell my product to them under these circumstances? Especially when 99.9% of the rest of the country does not function like this. To me this is a significant issue that warrants an explanation. I would like to know how it's possible for a modern western style of government entity to do such a thing. I am sure this is baffling to others as well. Many people take that as a stance against this organization. And again, it baffles me that one cannot even question the behaviour of an entity without being criticized or labelled as "against" it.

I am removing the "major edit" notification as it has long expired. It's Nov 25th and the lock was put on Nov 19th. That's more than a few hours. Make your edits offline, then post it when you are ready. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ejkitchen (talkcontribs) 20:24, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

End of the Wheat Board[edit]

The Canadian Federal Government has just announced it will be axing the wheat board. I am no good at updating but since I provided a source it should not take too long. (talk) 21:30, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Wheat Board compliance[edit]

I was surprised this article does not mention that failure to comply with the CWB is a punishable offence. This is significant information and sheds some light on why a number of farmers oppose the Board (they have no choice other than to support the Board, it's not a democratic organization that allows one to opt out, except for eastern Canadian farmers and those in BC who are not in the Peace River District). It also explains the Board's monopoly (monopsony?) powers. (talk) 01:59, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Harper Government?[edit]

There is no such thing as a "Harper Government". This is a politicized term invented and marketed by the current Conservative gov't and is not appropriate on Wikipedia. No previous elected party has ever been refered to as the "Mulroney" or "Chretien" Government. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Nothing on the Legal Battles?[edit]

The Canadian Wheat Board tried to get a judge to rule that the government could not dismantle the wheat board because doing so would be illegal .. as there was specific items in the Wheat Board Act that defined how it would be dismantled. As of Feb/2012 the Canadian Wheat Board website has removed ALL references to them taking legal action .. and news sites have gone black on the topic ... What's going on ? (talk) 16:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)