Submission to the Canadian Wheat Board Election Review Panel

Publication, Agriculture, Rolf Penner

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