moved for leave to introduce Bill C-548, An Act to amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act (increased democratic producer control).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill today, which would amend the Canadian Wheat Board Act in four ways: first, to increase the influence of western farmers in selecting independent outside directors to serve on the Canadian Wheat Board's board of directors and correspondingly reduce the role of the federal government; second, to limit the government's authority to give orders to the board to those cases where the government's financial guarantees or Canada's international trade obligations might be affected; third, to strengthen the rules for a fully democratic vote among grain producers before any legislation could be introduced to change the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk marketing system; and fourth, to require the federal government to conduct itself in a more consultative and collaborative manner in dealing with the board.
This is a piece of legislation that pushes democratic producer control over the Canadian Wheat Board. I am pleased to note that last week there was a survey of farmer opinion in western Canada that indicated 80% of western Canadian farmers would support legislation that moved in this direction.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)