The future of the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk will be decided by farmers, and not Wheat Board directors, according to one of the candidates running in the District 9 election.
Much of the discussion surrounding this year's election has focused on the reluctance of certain candidates to publicly declare their position on the single desk.
"It's just a deflection tactic by some of the candidates," says Dauphin-area farmer Ernie Sirski. "My issue has always been that I want a Canadian Wheat Board that is going to serve farmers' needs as best it can. That's always been the platform I've stood on."
"The single desk to me is a secondary issue, and one that farmers will decide, not directors of the Canadian Wheat Board," says Sirski, while pointing out the CWB Act states that farmers have to be consulted before the single desk can be changed.
Overall, Sirski says the election has been quite uneventful.
"This has probably been the quietest election that we've ever had...I don't want to use the word complacent, but it's probably the most laid back Canadian Wheat Board election I've seen," he says, noting the number of ballots returned so far is well below normal. "It seems farmers are saying 'well whatever happens, happens and we're not going to bother voting' and unfortunately I've heard that comment more than once. I would encourage producers to vote. It is their Canadian Wheat Board and it still affects a large part of their business."
Ballots must be postmarked no later than midnight on Friday (December 3rd). Election results will be announced December 12th.
All three candidates are sharing their views on the Manitoba Farm Journal this week. Garry Draper of Lenore joined Kelvin Heppner on Tuesday afternoon. Sirski was a guest on the MFJ on Wednesday and an interview with John Sandborn of Benito will air on Thursday's farm show.
~ Wednesday, December 1, 2010 ~