Lilley sums it up the other day:
Imagine I told you that there was a product, an entire industry actually, that was forced by law to sell it’s product to just one organization, a government backed organization, one with the power of the law behind it. Sell to these people or go to jail.
Now imagine that people making the exact same product in other parts of the country are allowed to sell to absolutely anyone they want to do business with.
Does this sound like Canada or a Soviet satellite before the Berlin wall came down?
This is Canada though and it is still going on today.
I’m talking about the Canadian Wheat Board.
Now, if you are not a farmer or if you don’t live out west, don’t think that this doesn’t matter to you. It does because this is about freedom. It is about liberty.
The Harper government is fulfilling a long standing promise to end the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board.
Under legislation passed by Parliament, Western farmers can only sell their wheat or barley to the Wheat Board. Legislation introduced today will repeal that system and allow farmers to either continue doing businesses with the Wheat Board or strike out on their own.
In essence, for the first time since 1935, farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will have freedom to run their businesses as they see fit.
People should be happy about this right?
Not so fast. Remember there are parts of Canada that do not like freedom and they definitely prefer governments running businesses rather than the business owners.
The Liberals and the NDP both oppose giving freedom to farmers, they like the current system – a government backed monopoly – sell to the wheat board or go to jail.
Less surprising is that the guy at the top of the Wheat Board supports not giving farmers a choice in who to sell their products to.
“We cannot in good conscience give up this fight. The government’s approach is illegal. It’s against the wishes of farmers and it’s harmful to the economic interests of Canada,” Allen Oberg said.
So he is considering taking the federal government to court to stop them from passing legislation which they are duly elected to pass. A group calling itself “Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board” is also looking to the courts to stop this.
Does any of this make sense to you?
The government is not going to stop farmers from dealing with the Wheat Board, they just won’t force them, under the threat of imprisonment, to deal with the Wheat Board.
Now, for everyone that lives in the city that just wants to eat bread and pasta and not think about where it comes from this may seem like a distant issue but again, it is about freedom.
You will note that the same people that wanted to lock you up for refusing to give the government highly personal, detailed information about your family and your home are the same people that back the jailing of farmers when it comes to who they sell their produce to.
We need to reject this kind of statist sentiment in Canada and embrace freedom whether it is for farmers or for you.
Lilley (external - login to view)