The CWB’s plebiscite has resulted in a marginal victory for the single desk die hards as John Depape expected on RealAgriculture last week. The next events in this saga will produce predictable outcomes as well in my opinion.
Now that the CWB has a form (subject to debate) of approval from farmers they will begin a strong and expensive campaign to try and disrupt the federal governments plans to end the single desk on wheat and barley. Gerry Ritz is going to show the ultimate level of resolve and the pro single desk group is going to not go away quietly. My concern through this whole period has not changed. Not voting in the plebiscite was a real mistake for the pro-market choice side. This is because the CWB feels that it now has the signal from farmers to spend whatever it takes to save the single desk. Guess where that money is going to come from? If you said the pool account you are correct.
As a friend of mine said to me yesterday, “if you didn’t vote don’t bitch.” I don’t want to hear one person that did not vote start to tell me that the CWB shouldn’t be able to spend money out of the pool account to fight the government on this issue. What did you think was going to happen? Did you think the CWB was just going to take a pro-single desk vote and say, “i told you so.”
Please do not leave comments below saying that the plebiscite was not legitimate. You are missing the point. This plebiscite, no matter its legitimacy was a great opportunity for the pro-market choice side to bury this issue and force the hand of the CWB to take their bat and ball and go home. Now we have to read stories in the Globe and Mail about how the federal conservatives are ripping marketing power from farmers. Even though the plebiscite results are non-binding, the CWB is going to use the numbers to try and lure the non-farmers in Canada to believe what farmers really want.
Just like most of you, I am getting tired of the single desk issue but in this case I really think the pro-marketing choice side has created some of their own frustration.