WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on June 29 announced that the Harper Government will ensure that Western Canadian grain farmers are given the freedom to choose whether to sell grain on the open market or through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

Minister Ritz confirmed to those gathered at the Grain Growers of Canada’s summer meeting, that the Harper Government wants to work with the grain industry to find positive, constructive solutions for moving the sector toward a brighter economic future.

“Our government is supporting the grain sector through our commitment to marketing freedom for wheat and barley growers in Western Canada,” said Minister Ritz. “We know that grain farmers will be able to make their marketing choices based on what is best for their own business, and opening up the market will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs and build a stronger economy.”

Currently, barley and wheat grown in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the Peace River region of British Columbia must be marketed through the CWB’s single desk if destined for export or domestic human consumption.

Minister Ritz concluded that all farmers, right across the country, should be able to position their businesses to capture the marketing opportunities — both global and domestic — that are open to them, and that the Government of Canada is very proud to be leading the way towards the future prosperity of Canada’s agriculture sector.