Issue: The Harper government's bid to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and undermine rural Prairie communities through Bill C-18, now before the Senate.
Action Requested: Take part in an urgent campaign to get the Senate to stop passage of the bill while the matter is before the courts.
When: Before Dec. 14. The government has said it intends to push the legislation through before Christmas even though a Federal Court judge has ruled the Agriculture Minister broke the law by failing to consult farmers. The government says it will appeal that ruling, but won't wait to have the appeal held and is pressing ahead with the legislation.
The Harper government is seeking to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board with the passage of Bill C-18. This move is illegal because the law requires the government to consult with farmers on any changes to the CWB, but the government has refused to consult. It is undemocratic because it ignores a vote held by farmers in which the majority said they wanted to keep the board.
AFL's Position: This is not about wheat. The government's move is fuelled by its ideological opposition to collective action. It wants to undermine the ability of farmers to work collectively to get a better price for their product in the same way it has undermined the ability of workers to bargain collectively by forcing them back to work in recent disputes at Canada Post and Air Canada. If the government succeeds in dismantling the Wheat Board, the only winners will be large corporations. The losers will be smaller family farms who will no longer be able to compete on an equal footing with larger corporate farms and will no longer be able to negotiate with the large corporations that buy their products. Studies show Prairie farmers will lose hundreds of millions of dollars every year – money that is vital to the survival of many of our rural communities. For more details, read the joint statement issued by the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Federations of Labour.
Action: Join the campaign by the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance (CWBA) to contact senators and the Governor-General by email, phone and fax to let them know that if they pass this bill they will be flaunting the law and not acting in the best interests of the Western Canadian farmer and their communities, or in Canada's best interests. The CWBA is asking for messages to be sent by phone and fax as well as email, because the senators' e-mail risks getting backed up, so phone and fax may be the fastest way to get your message through. Provided here is contact info for Alberta senators, followed by a list of other senators provided by the CWBA, whom they feel are most likely to change their vote or not show up for the vote. Contact info for the Governor-General is also provided.
• Elaine McCoy: Tel. 613-995-4293 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-4304; Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
• Tommy Banks: Tel. 613-995-1889 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-1938; Email email@example.com
• Bert Brown: Tel. 613-944-3434 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-944-3438; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Joyce Fairbairn: Tel. 613-996-4382 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-3223; Email. email@example.com
• Grant Mitchell: Tel. 613-995-4254 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-995-4265; Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
• Claudette Tardif: Tel. 613-947-3589 or 1-800-267-7362; Fax. 613-947-3609; Email. email@example.com
Other Senators to contact:
Last name First name Phone Fax Prov
Boisvenu Pierre-Hugues 613-943-4030 613-943-4029 QC
Demers Jacques 613-992-0151 613-992-0128 QC
Rivard Michel 613-947-4107 613-947-4110 QC
Champagne Andrée 613-995-3999 613-995-4034 QC
Nancy Ruth 13-995-4174 613-995-4188 ON
Segal Hugh 613-995-4059 613-995-5259 ON
Andreychuk Raynell 613-947-2239 613-947-2241 SK
Angus W. David 613-947-3193 613-947-3195 QC
Cochrane Ethel M. 613-992-1577 613-995-6691 NL/T
Comeau Gerald J. 613-943-1448 613-943-1556 NS
Di Nino Consiglio 613-943-1454 613-943-1800 QC
Johnson Janis G. 613-943-1430 613-992-5029 MB
Kinsella Noël A. 613-992-4416 613-992-9772 NB
LeBreton Marjory 613-943-0756 613-943-1493 ON
Meighen Michael A. 613-943-1421 613-943-1565 ON
Nolin Pierre Claude 613-943-1451 613-943-1792 QC
Oliver Donald H. 613-943-1445 613-943-1502 NS
St. Germain Gerry 613-947-2242 613-947-2244 BC
Stratton Terry 613-947-2224 613-943-1563 MB
Tkachuk David 613-947-3196 613-947-3198 SK
Rivest Jean-Claude 613-947-2236 613-947-2238 QC
Rt. Hon. David Johnston: Tel. 613-993-8200; Fax 613-998-8760