Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, gentlemen, for coming in, and those appearing by telecast.
I have to echo the sentiments of Mr. Martin. Frankly, I agree with them. I may not do it as dramatically, but I do it with the same conviction and the same passion. Please understand that. I'm concerned about western Canadian grain farmers. They were denied a plebiscite. They had their own. It was ignored. We've had three days of debate and now three days of discussion that will affect something as iconic as the Wheat Board and obviously will dramatically affect small farms in the provinces.
However, at the risk of being objected to here, I will try to draw out my questions to the technical nature of the bill. Mr. Knubley, I'm hoping you can talk to me about the legislation and not just the report of the working group. Specifically, can you speak about the commercialization or the privatization, if you will, of the Wheat Board after the transition period?
Clause 42 talks about the corporation submitting an application under either the Canadian Business Corporations Act or the Canada Cooperatives Act or the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. It then goes on to say that before they do, they have to send their application to the minister.
That offends me. I think it would offend any entrepreneur out there. Other farmers right now have a right to create a co-operative without getting permission from the minister. This is a minister who claims freedom for farmers, and yet is micromanaging every single aspect and move of the interim board and even the board that chooses to privatize.
Would you please explain to me why, Mr. Knubley, a board that is going to go private and register under any of those three pieces of legislation needs to seek the permission of the minister?