August marks the beginning of the crop year, and for many farmers in Western Canada, it marks a significant anniversary — the removal of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly in 2012.
The Conservatives had two minority governments leading up to eventually winning a majority in 2011. As Gerry Ritz, then federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, shares, the majority of provinces were on side, but some suggested a gradual removal of crops from the CWB mandate. Instead, Ritz ended the monopoly all at once, “like a Band-Aid.”
RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney asks in the audio below whether or not the removal of the monopoly delivered the marketing benefits promised, and what it took, politically, to get it done. Ritz shares what it has meant for end-use contracts, crop rotations, and even railways.