Supreme Court Decides Against Hearing Class Action Lawsuit Over End of CWB Single Desk

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided it will not hear the class action case brought forward by four farmers representing the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board.

The decision upheld previous rulings by the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, which rejected most of the group’s $17 billion lawsuit against the federal government and the CWB.

Friends of the CWB says the legal action was launched “to hold the Harper government accountable for its decision to unilaterally end the CWB’s marketing advantages and seize the farmer-paid assets” when it removed the CWB’s single desk marketing authority in 2012. Harold Bell of Fort St. John, B.C., Andrew Dennis of Brookdale, Manitoba, Nathan Macklin of DeBolt, Alberta, and Ian McCreary of Bladworth, Saskatchewan were listed as plaintiffs.

“We are naturally disappointed that Canada’s legal system has been unable to fully hold the federal government accountable for the confiscation and destruction of the Canadian Wheat Board in 2011. The legal system has quite simply not been able to afford justice to western Canadian farmers so far,” said spokesperson Stewart Wells in a news release on Thursday.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz welcomed the decision, saying it “once again upholds Western Canadian farmers’ right to marketing freedom.”

The earlier Federal Court of Appeal decision allowed the Friends of the CWB to continue with a much smaller lawsuit regarding what the group says was a misallocation of CWB pool account funds in 2011-12. That case is still slated to go to trial.


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