The Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board court case against the federal government could go all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, according to Friends Legal Counsel Anders Bruun.
"This case presents issues that haven't been before the courts, and those issues often go the Supreme Court for a satisfactory ruling," says Bruun. "When it's a new type of case both sides see themselves as possibly winning, and if they see there's some chance that they will have better prospects at the next level of court, the natural tendency is to appeal."
The FCWB is challenging Ottawa's plan to dismantle the CWB single desk without conducting a producer plebiscite.
Bruun says he believes the FCWB case raises issues which have not been before the court before.
"The provision in the Canadian Wheat Board Act, Section 47.1 says the Minister shall not introduce into Parliament any legislation altering the mandate of the Canadian Wheat Board without having held a plebiscite of farmers approving the change," he says. "The Wheat Board Act is the only federal statute in Canada that has that kind of provision in it."
"We think that's something we may be able to persuade a judge has merit."
Bruun says he believes a court victory for the Friends would require the government to conduct a plebiscite.
"It's entirely conceivable that it could force the government to hold a vote," he says.
He says he believes Minister Ritz does not have a strong defence.
"The Minister has said he's not changing the Wheat Board's mandate, he's repealing the Act as a whole. What that does is change the Wheat Board's mandate, so that particular tactic is not going to be very persuasive," says Bruun.
A case conference is now scheduled for October 3rd, where both parties will lay out their ideas of how the case should proceed. A hearing date could possibly also be set.