OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — The Canadian federal court on Dec. 12 struck down most of the claims in a lawsuit brought by supporters of the former Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). However, the case is still moving forward.
Board supporters want C$17 billion for damages they claim were caused when the government ended the CWB’s monopoly over wheat and barley sales.
According to news reports, Justice Daniele Tremblay-Lamer struck down several claims, including those of expropriation and unlawful interference with economic relations. On the expropriation issue, the judge said there has been no transfer of property.
The judge said the claim of mismanagement can continue with a revised statement of claim. Board supporters say the government and the new CWB management used money that should have been paid to farmers to cover the transition costs when the monopoly ended.
Supporters of the former CWB also claim the government interfered with their economic relations by ending the single desk marketing system, which they said got them a premium price for their grain.
Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a news release that the ruling underscores the rights of Western Canadian farmers to market their own grain.
“While courts continue to strike down these frivolous lawsuits, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of Western grain farmers have embraced marketing freedom and are capitalizing on new economic opportunities that were impossible under the old single desk,” he said.
The government filed a motion last August asking for the claim to be struck and the proposed class action dismissed.
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