Wheat Board monopoly will end, PM vows
'This train is barreling down a prairie track,' Harper says of CWB changes
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says legislation to end the marketing monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board is expected soon, adding he is confident it will be passed.
"We will have dual marketing in August for the next crop year," Harper said. "This is a historic change that has been long overdue."
The Canadian Wheat Board has said the move on its monopoly power will hurt farmers who benefit from the clout the agency has in the marketplace.
Many farmers have also said they prefer the status quo.
But Harper, speaking at an event in Regina Friday, was adamant that change was coming.
"Its time for the Wheat Board and others who have been standing in the way to realize that this train is barreling down a prairie track," Harper said. "You're much better to get on it than to lie on the tracks because this is going ahead."
Legislation creating the board dates back to 1935. The monopoly over wheat came into effect in 1943. Barley and oats were added a few years later.
Oats were removed by a previous Conservative government in 1989, but barley and wheat exports and domestic sales for human consumption remain under board control.