Farmers file Wheat Board case with Supreme Court

(Swift Current, Saskatchewan, December 16, 2014) Yesterday counsel for the farmer Plaintiffs in the Class Action lawsuit stemming from the Harper Government’s dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board filed documents seeking leave to have several key issues of the case considered by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Steven Shrybman of Sack, Goldblatt, and Mitchell of Toronto, co-counsel for the Plaintiffs remarked “this Class Action addresses some fundamental issues surrounding the right of people to democratically choose to work together and to build and hold assets collectively. Our clients feel this aspect of the Class Action is uniquely important not only to western grain farmers, but also to the interests of Canadian society and business in general, and deserves the consideration of the Supreme Court of Canada.”

Anders Bruun, a Winnipeg lawyer and co-counsel for the Plaintiffs stated “The recent Federal Court of Appeal ruling gave a green light for the Class Action to proceed with the parts of the case based on the misallocation of CWB Pool account funds in 2011/12. This part of the Class Action will be going forward regardless of the results of this leave to appeal application.”

Stewart Wells, Chairperson of the Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board, said “There are three levels of loss – the values of the ongoing business, the hard assets including the contingency fund, and the misallocation of funds during the transition. Together these represent about a $17 billion loss to western Canadian farmers. The fact that farmers have lost $5 billion over the last 2 years that they would have received had the Wheat Board been in place proves the true value of the Wheat Board.”

“Clearly we believe the brand and the good name of the farmer-owned Wheat Board is also a form of property built and paid for by farmers, and this appeal will allow the Court to address this very substantial loss” explained Wells.

He went on to say, “I’m glad the plaintiffs have elected to give the Supreme Court the opportunity to address the inconsistency in lower court rulings holding that farmers have a right to advance a claim for pool account monies yet do not have a right to the property bought and paid for with those pool account monies.”

Wells concluded “the seizure of their CWB assets and Ottawa’s claim farmers have no right to them has galvanized the farm community to lay claim to all the Wheat Board assets farmers bought and paid for, not just the cash remaining in the Pool account.” -30-

For further information call:
Stewart Wells: (306) 773-6852
Anders Bruun: (204) 416-3562

Farmer Plaintiffs:
Harold Bell: Fort St. John, British Columbia
Andrew Dennis: Brookdale, Manitoba
Nathan Macklin: DeBolt, Alberta
Ian McCreary: Bladworth, Saskatchewan