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End to CWB’s Barley Monopoly: Ritz


February 13, 2008
By The Canadian Press

Topics

Feb. 12, 2008, Winnipeg – Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he will introduce a bill in Parliament in about 10 days that would end the Canadian Wheat Board's barley monopoly.

Ritz says the board has “tucked and run'' from talks on the future of the barley industry and change is overdue.

Board officials said Wednesday that they are breaking off talks with Ottawa because there is no common ground between the two sides.

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The government wants to remove the wheat board's monopoly on western barley sales and allow producers to sell independently.

The board, supported by some farm groups, says that would result in lower prices and hurt producers.

Many other producer groups, however, have demanded for years that they have the right to sell barley without going through the board.

The government tried to end the board's monopoly last year, but a Federal Court judge quashed the change, saying it would have to be done through a law tabled in Parliament.