Mr. Speaker, farmers have demonstrated what they are capable of by producing a huge record crop this year. That should be good news, but right now, it frankly does not look like good news.
Less than a year ago, some wheat sold for over $9.00 a bushel. Good stuff. However, now farmers are being offered under $4.00 a bushel for the same quality of wheat. Market forces certainly can explain part of that, but not all of it.
The problem is that we do not have a competitive market when it comes to shipping grain. Farmers are captive shippers who are at the mercy of CN and CP, whichever line runs through their area. They have no choice. I have been told that grain companies are taking of advantage of that by buying grain at fire-sale prices and still selling it at much higher prices into the world market.
The agriculture minister has been doing a lot of work on that and has done a good job. However, it is time for railways to up their game, and it is time for grain companies to complete their sales to allow farmers to get closer to the world price for their hard-earned crops.