Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, my colleague, the member for Simcoe North, put forward a bill that would permit farmers to opt out of the Canadian Wheat Board. While I firmly believe it is in the economic interests of farmers to put the single desk Wheat Board to pasture, it is not the economic damage that the Wheat Board causes that I find most obnoxious.
Members should know that the original Wheat Board was installed in the World War I era to keep grain prices down. Then, when the Wheat Board was put into its current form during World War II, it was also aimed at lowering the prices that farmers received.
The Wheat Board did and does this by robbing farmers of the freedom to control their own wheat, their own private property. It is this annual expropriation of property that I find most egregious. No one forces farmers to buy their fertilizer or their fuel from one source and yet if a farmer chooses to sell wheat in his own fashion, he can go to prison.
If freedom means anything at all, it should mean the right to control one's own property, the fruits of one's labours. The Canadian Wheat Board is an assault on the liberties of not just farmers but an assault on the liberties of all Canadians.