OTTAWA — Yesterday in the House of Commons, Wayne Easter, Liberal International Trade Critic and Member of Parliament for Malpeque, raised a question of privilege accusing the Harper government of contempt over its handling of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) issue. Easter has asked that the Speaker of the House rule on this matter.
In a question of privilege, Easter stated, “During the summer the Harper government advertised for auditors to determine the financial impact ‘of the repeal of the Canadian Wheat Board Act and the dissolution or winding up of the CWB after the final pooling periods expected July 31, 2012′. This in fact assumes that the CWB will cease to exist after that date.
What is contemptuous here is that no legislation has been approved by Parliament and no legislation has been, in any respect, presented to Parliament. The Government, therefore, has no authority to undertake such an expenditure of government money for an audit to terminate the CWB until it has the authority of Parliament.”
Easter concluded, “This government has once again showed its contempt for Parliament, has undermined the confidence of international customers of the CWB, and destabilized the thousands of Prairie grain farmers and farm families whose security lies with the CWB. This action shows that even though a clear majority of farmers voted to maintain the CWB single desk marketing system in a plebiscite held this summer, the government intends to destroy the Board regardless of the consequences.
The disgraceful conduct of this government is unacceptable in a democracy and will be challenged every step of the way.”