Friday, February 01, 2008

Canadian Wheat Board

Isn’t it interesting how government’s reach so far away from home to find people they feel are best positioned to fill government appointments? Is no one in Canada qualified? The most recent appointment announced by Gerry Ritz, Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), is that of Ian White. Ian White is not out of this world, but from the other side of the world. He is an Australian who has most recently been serving as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Queensland Sugar which has it’s corporate office operating out of Brisbane, Australia.

You can read Ian White’s bio which is on Queensland Sugar’s website at and decide for yourself what you think of this appointment. At least he should come to this appointment without any bias on the issue of the CWB, but he will soon learn that he will do whatever the Harper conservative government wants him to do or he will be fired. The conservative government fired the former President of the CWB, Adrian Measner and Ian White will suffer the same fate if he doesn’t get it done the way the Harper government wants it done. In other words, he may go down under.

I am not a strong proponent of the status quo regarding the CWB, but it is time the politicians backed away from this issue and let someone make decisions that is in the best interests of Canadian farmers and not the ideology of politicians. Ian White may be the right man for the job if he uses a little sugar and honey to get it done rather than the bulldog style the conservative government has sometimes employed. It may be that Ian White will bring some new ideas to the issue of the CWB and that would be good for farmers. On the other hand, if the sole purpose of his appointment is to execute the Harper government’s agenda regarding the CWB then I expect the CWB controversy will continue as it has in the past.

Congratulations Mr. White and welcome to Canada. In the interests of all farmers I wish you every success.