NDP leader challenges Liberals on fate of Canadian Wheat Board

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair brought up the fate of the Canadian Wheat Board during Question Period in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Minister of Agriculture says wheat board is already commercialized, will focus on new trade routes

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Saskatoon MP Sheri Benson call on Liberals to restore the Wheat Board that the Harper government privatized 2:15

The fate of the Canadian Wheat Board was up for federal debate during Question Period in Ottawa on Tuesday. 

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair challenged the Liberal government on whether they would help save it — a position the Liberals have long supported

"Before the election the Liberals talked a good game on this issue but now in government are they actually going to help farmers and restore the Canadian wheat board? Yes or no?" Mulcair said. 

The topic came up after a group of farmers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba recently voted unanimously to call for the re-establishment of the board.

The farmers, known as the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance, said the loss of the wheat board has cost them $6.5 billion in income over the last two years.  

Minister of Agriculture responds

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair questioned the Liberal Party about their plans for the Canadian Wheat Board on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (CPAC)

Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay responded to Mulcair, making note that his government didn't sell the wheat board.  

"I think we are all aware who ended the Canadian Wheat Board," MacAulay said. 

The former Conservative government sold the wheat board to the Saudi-owned G3 Global group after privatising its board.

MacAuley said the commercialisation of the wheat board has already been completed. 

However, he said the Liberals will take other steps to make sure farmers get what's due.

"I can assure you this government will focus on it's priorities for the sector including opening up new trade routes to make sure farmers receive proper remuneration for their grains," MacAulay said.  

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.