Wheat growers to sue marketing board

A threatened lawsuit by Canadian Wheat Growers Association is the third legal action filed in connection with Ottawa's plans to strip the Canadian Wheat Board of its marketing monopoly.

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association says it will sue the Canadian Wheat Board and eight of its directors for alleged misuse of farmers’ money.

The lawsuit would be the third legal action filed in connection with Ottawa's plans to open up western Canadian wheat and barley marketing. The CWB announced this week it is suing the federal government over Bill C-18, which, if passed, would end single desk selling of western wheat and barley through the board. And another group, Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board wants the courts to review the federal legislation.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has argued that western Canadian farmers shouldn't be forced to sell their grain through the wheat board.

The wheat growers association agrees.

"We have been contemplating legal action against the CWB for quite some time now," said Kevin Bender, president of the Wheat Growers. "The CWB’s decision to file a legal action against the federal Minister of Agriculture was the tipping point. We cannot stand idly by and watch the CWB directors continue to misuse our money."

"We hope to prevent the CWB from wasting our money and standing in the way of legislation that will give us the freedom to sell our own grain," said Bender. An application to the courts is expected to be filed early next week.