Submission to the Canadian Wheat Board Election Review Panel

If we want the Canadian Wheat Board to be an effective economic agent, its governance must better reflect the interests of its largest producers.

Executive Summary

  • The Canadian Wheat Board’s important role requires it be governed in the best economic interests of agriculture.
  • With stiff international competition, Canadian farmers need flexibility to adapt to constant change.
  • As a business, the CWB should have governance that reflects the interests of stakeholders.
  • The ultimate in accountability, that farmers could opt out entirely, is beyond the mandate of the review panel.
  • Current rules allow anyone with a permit book to vote for directors, whether or not they grow any grain.
  • In the CWB’s case, “one man, one vote” creates conditions where those with little or no stake in the outcome have disproportionate influence.
  • The Australian Wheat Board deals with that issue by weighting ballots based on production levels.
  • That model reflects arrangements based on principles operating in the profit-maximizing business sector.
  • Other reforms, including an independent elections commission, would strengthen farmer control and reduce outside political influences on the Board.

View entire submission in pdf format

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