The uncertainty surrounding the future of the Canadian Wheat board remains.

The CWB's eight farmer-elected directors announced Wednesday morning they are filing an application for an injunction with Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, asking it to rule Bill C-18 invalid after last week's federal court ruling. They're also asking the court to issue an order preventing implementation of the bill until the court has ruled on its validity.

Bill C-18 is set to be approved by the Senate on Thursday, and could receive Royal Assent on Friday. Upon Royal Assent, the five government-appointed directors would take over control of the board.

"If the court does rule in our favour, obviously the implementation of the bill would be stopped, and all aspects of it, including the reinstatement of the board of directors, would occur," says CWB Chair Allen Oberg.

He says they hope to have the case presented as early as Friday.

Oberg says the legal fight will continue, even after Royal Assent, when the government's appointed directors could tell the CWB's lawyers to drop the application.

"It's not only the Canadian Wheat Board that's named in this application, but all the elected directors are named individually as well," he says. "We will continue with this fight as long as we have legal options available to us."

The CWB chair was asked when producers will know whether or not they'll be working with a monopoly come August of 2012.

"If the minister had agreed to a producer vote on this issue...this could have been decided a long time ago and the whole uncertainty in the marketplace could have been dealt with," he says. "That's a good question to ask Minister Ritz."

Ritz has repeatedly said producers should continue to plan for the end of the single desk in August.


Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had the following to say in response to this morning's CWB announcement:

Our Government remains focused on passing this vital legislation and giving prairie farmers the marketing freedom they demand and deserve.

“We continue to stand up for all farmers and are equally disappointed that the directors would continue to put the industry at risk with this desperate and reckless action.

“Unlike the Directors who only want a percentage of farmers to have choice, our Government will make sure that every farmer has a choice in how they market their grain, regardless of whether that’s individually or through the Canadian Wheat Board.

“There’s a reason the Liberal Party has been completely shut out of rural western Canada and that’s because the Liberal party doesn’t trust western farmers and would rather see farmers in jail than have control over their wheat and barley.”

“Like prairie farmers, we look forward to seeing the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act become law because it’s the right thing to do for farmers, for the grain industry and for our economy.
” – Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz