Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz speaks to the media on the eve of marketing freedom for Western Canadian wheat

Final countdown on to end of Canadian Wheat Board marketing monopoly

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is literally counting down to the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on western wheat and barley sales. At a news conference in Saskatoon, Ritz stood in front of a screen that displayed a clock ticking down to midnight.

SASKATOON — Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is literally counting down to the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on western wheat and barley sales.

At a news conference in Saskatoon, Ritz stood in front of a screen that displayed a clock ticking down to midnight.

That’s when a law passed late last year will kick in and western farmers can sell their grain to whomever they choose.

Ritz says it’s the same freedom that wheat farmers have in Ontario.

Wheat and barley farmers in Western Canada have had to sell their grain through the board since the 1940s.

The agriculture minister notes that farmers can still market their grain through the board, but now it will be a voluntary decision.

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