June 9, 2004 -- Earlier today, after Agriculture Minister Shirley McClellan had breakfast with farmers, promoted by the Taber Chamber of Commerce to discuss the Bill 206 [Amendment of the Wheat/Barley Test Market Act] she was presented with a loaf of FREEDOM BREAD.
The wheat for this loaf of bread was requested by the baker from Alberta farmers and processed into flour by a miller.
This is the first time this type of transaction, with all three parties in Canada -- from Western Canada to Ontario -- has taken place.
June 6th was the D-Day 60th Anniversary where our Canadian soldiers fought and many died for our rights and freedoms and choices.
But in this free country of Canada which promotes democracy, we in Western Canada have to deal with the CWB Monopoly or be jailed. Over 20 farmers have gone to jail for the principal to market our own wheat.
The consumer wants to know where the food comes from. Is it safe? Is it of high quality?
Today this freedom bread takes issue to give this information.
The farmers, this baker and this miller are offering to the consumer the loaf to deal with their concerns.
This is also a national election issue -- we expect a public response from all the political parties.
For more information contact:
Colleen Bianchi -- 403-344-4473
Freedom is not something that should differ from one province to the next. When it comes to wheat and barley it differs vastly.
Eastern farmers, millers and bakers can buy, sell, trade and export to whomever they please.
Western farmers, millers and bakers are imprisoned by the Federal Government, the Canadian Wheat Board and their bureaucrats.
The difference is not in legislation, but in policy.
The Canadian Wheat Board Act includes all of Canada. The difference is in the way it operates. When an Eastern farmer or processor wants to buy, sell, trade or export, they simply call 1-800-ASK-4CWB and are immediately granted approval. In some cases our Eastern colleagues do not even apply, but simply but, sell, trade or export to whomever, however, and wherever they see fit, without so much as a call tot he bureaucratic nightmare we call the Canadian Wheat Board.
When a Western farmer tries to carry out the same transaction, they are told that they must sell it to the Canadian Wheat Board. If you do not follow this demand you will be charged and jailed like twenty plus Western farmers already have.
Canada is a great country, so how can there be these vast differences? All we want is what the rest of Canada already enjoys:
With this in mind a collaborative effort between Western farmers, an Eastern miller and an Eastern baker have decided to take back what is rightfully ours -- FREEDOM.
We have done this by sending Freedom Wheat to Eastern Canada, to be milled into Freedom Flour and baked into Freedom Bread.
None of this was done with the approval of that bum steer we call the Canadian Wheat Board.
How long must we wait to be charged and jailed?
For more information contact:
Colleen Bianchi -- 403-344-4473
|Backgrounder: Freedom Bread
Insert Included in Every Loaf
Freedom Bread's purpose is to draw attention to the fact that inequalities exist within Canada where all wheat farmers except the Prairies can directly market their wheat and capitalize on the global evolution of food. The world is changing; people want to know where their food came from. Why deny the freedom of certain Canadian farmers to market their own wheat as they see fit?
Freedom Bread hopes to lead to the creation of a voluntary wheat board in Western Canada to facilitate the direct transaction between wheat producer, miller and baker. The consumer will be rewarded with a product that will have a complete history of origin, a knowledge of where it was milled by a craft miller before being baked into glorious bread by an artisan baker.
Canadians have fought and died for freedom. We are recently reminded of this with the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Freedom to buy and sell is one of the main pillars of a free nation.
Freedom Bread is baked into bread by a Toronto baker who sourced the Freedom Wheat directly from farmers in Alberta and had the golden kernels milled into Freedom Flour by an Ontario craft miller.
Want to know more?
ShaSha Bread Co -- www.shashabread.com
Hayhoe Mills Limited -- www.hayhoe.com
Farmers for Justice -- www.farmersforjustice.com
Free Wheat in the West
Choice is Yours Campaign from CWB
The Choice is Yours
Since late April, the CWB has been running a series of ads that respond to calls for a test open market in Alberta. You will find one of the ads on the right.
We have run these ads because we feel that they explain, in clear terms, a very important fact: in a test open market you might still have a CWB but it wouldn't be the same animal as what you have today and it certainly couldn't do the same job on your farm.
The bull and the steer may look the same to the untrained eye. But farmers know that the steer is missing some crucial parts. In a test open market, the CWB would also be missing some crucial parts.
Most importantly, it would no longer be the only seller of Prairie wheat, durum and barley for export and human consumption. So, it would no longer be able to get more for western Canadian grain than other sellers in the marketplace.
Secondly, the CWB would lose the ability to pool prices throughout the crop year. In an open market, pooling does not work very well because it is difficult to originate supplies of grain for the pool when prices are rising and the cash price is above pooled values.
Lastly, government guarantees for CWB credit sales, borrowings and farmer payments would disappear. There would be no reason for the federal government to treat the CWB any differently than the other grain companies operating in Western Canada.
The result? The CWB would be stripped of the things that make it work: the single desk, price pooling and the financial guarantees. It would look the same, it could well have the same name but it would be a completely different animal.
These ads also point out that once you have a test open market, there is no going back. Just like turning a bull into a steer, you better be sure that you really want to get rid of the single desk, pooling and financial guarantees because once they're gone, they're gone for good. There will be no turning back.
The CWB is yours. It belongs to you. You and the other farmers of Western Canada pay the bills. Nobody else has the right to tell you what to do with it. You want a bull? It's yours. You want a steer? It's yours too. But you decide… Nobody else!
No one has the right to tell you which animal is best for you and no one has the right to tell you which grain marketing system – the single desk or the open market – is best for your farm.
Ken Ritter, Chair, board of directors
Note: We draw your attention to the bolded phrases. Bolding was added by FFJ.
Backgrounder: Give Us the Freedom to Buy and Sell
We think of Canada as a very free country, and so of
course it is.
But Canada is also a country in which it is a very
serious offence for a farmer to sell butter or eggs without permission or
for a radio station to play the songs its listeners most want to hear.
Canada is a country in which the governments decide which medical
treatments will be provided, and where, and when -- and in which it is
again a serious offence for a doctor to provide treatments other than
those offered by the state.
It's illegal for a wheat farmer to sell his wheat to
the highest bidder, for a landlord in Toronto and other major cities to
charge the market price for his apartments, or (in many provinces) for
anyone other than the government to sell liquor or wine, and illegal for
American Airlines to fly passengers from Toronto to Vancouver.
It is illegal for a non-Canadian to open a bookstore
in this country or buy ownership of a newspaper. It is almost impossible
for a Canadian to watch Fox News or HBO or MTV without breaking the law.
It is illegal for an 18-year-old actress to appear in a beer commercial,
illegal for a cigarette company to put a picture of its product anywhere
at all, illegal for a vineyard to put up a billboard with the truthful
message: "Wine in moderation has been shown to reduce the risk of
heart disease: Enjoy a glass with dinner tonight."
Now many people will be tempted to shrug off these
restrictions. Freedom to buy and sell is the ugly duckling of personal
liberties --the liberty that even freedom's defenders find vaguely
No less a liberal than John Stuart Mill tried to snip
the connections between this commercial freedom and its more glamorous
siblings: freedom of speech and of the press, of religion and of
association. And John Stuart Mill's work continues to this day.
And yet, in our day as in Mill's, commercial liberty
is the first freedom. It is the base on which all other freedoms stand,
and when it is restricted all our freedoms are threatened.
This is so for three reasons.
First, economic liberty is important in itself. Human
beings are intellectual, spiritual and sexual beings -- and the freedom to
fulfill those aspects of our nature is very important. But we are also
working, building, providing beings -- and those aspects of our nature are
entitled to the benefits of liberty as well. Canada does a good job of
protecting the liberty people use from 10 to 11 on Sunday mornings -- and
an excellent job of protecting the liberty they use on Saturday night. But
the liberty they might use from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, gets scanted in
Canada. And yet that liberty probably means more in the end to most people
than the more exotic liberties the courts have read into the Charter of
Rights. Canadians would never tolerate it if the government told them they
could worship at only one government-controlled church or read only one
government-approved newspaper. How is it different to tell them that they
may get their medicine from only one government-run health care system?
Second, economic liberty is inextricably connected to
all our other liberties. A government that has the right to override
economic freedom is sooner or later going to be overriding freedom of
religion, speech, and the press as well. That's what a printer named Scott
Brockie found out when he refused a customer who wanted him to do some
work for a homosexual nonprofit organization. Brockie, an evangelical
Christian, believed that the work was immoral. The Ontario Human Rights
Commission fined him $5,000 and ordered him to take a sensitivity-training
course where he could unlearn his religious views. An Ontario court ruled
in June that the OHRC had gone too far. But it did not reject the basic
logic of the OHRC's decision: that if we accept government's power to deny
economic liberties (like the right to refuse customers), sooner or later
we're going to have to accept the government's power to deny religious and
moral liberty as well.
Third, as Alexander Hamilton pointed out 200 years
ago, "a power over a man's livelihood is a power over a man's
mind." As government's role in the economy expands, so necessarily
does its influence over society.
A very practical example:
For many years, the cities of Ontario strictly
regulated residential rents. These controls, of course, swiftly produced
extreme shortages of rental housing. To mitigate the shortage, the
provincial government created and lavishly funded a program of "co-op
housing." A church group, a labour union or some other association
would borrow money at favourable rates from the government, buy land and
build an apartment building. The apartments would then be allotted to
members of the church or union.
Because of the government subsidy, these apartments
would be an excellent deal -- and for that reason, they became an
excellent tool of discipline and control for the people in charge of the
co-op. A nurse who objected too loudly to the decisions of the executives
of the nurses' union would forfeit her chances for a co-op apartment. On
the other hand, a member of the city council who voted the way the nurses'
union liked could be offered an apartment at knock-down prices.
By ending commercial freedom in housing, in other
words, Ontario ended up institutionalizing new controls on personal
behaviour -- and legitimizing a new form of political corruption.
Like all freedoms, economic freedom has to be subject
to reasonable restraint. Freedom of speech is not destroyed by laws
against libel and perjury and false advertising, and economic freedom will
not be destroyed by sensible economic regulation. Freedom is never an
But if economic freedom is to survive the necessary
restrictions, Canadians will have to understand it better and defend it
more vigorously. And one excellent way to start would be to enshrine the
ugly duckling freedom in the Constitution. Two amendments would more than
do the job. Amendment one:
"Everyone has the right to acquire property and
no one shall be deprived of property except in accordance with the
principles of fundamental justice."
And amendment two:
"Everyone has the right to make and enforce
contracts, and this right shall not be abridged except in accordance with
the principles of fundamental justice."
These amendments are not poetry. They are written in
the same flat bureaucratic style as the rest of the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms to underscore that they merit the same respect and protection as
the other rights therein contained.
Nor are they the whole of the answer. They will not open medicare or the satellite dish industry to competition -- although they probably would invalidate most rent-control laws. But a country that added property and contract to a constitution notoriously inhospitable to either would be sending an electric new signal to its legislatures and its courts: Economic rights are human rights -- so quit trampling on them.