The Manitoba government is launching a three-week television, print and radio campaign in support of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
The campaign comes just weeks after the federal government announced plans to shutter the CWB in 2012.
“The CWB is important to so many Manitobans, providing grain growers with an effective and reliable way to sell their grains along with employing hundreds of people in Winnipeg,” Premier Greg Selinger said during a Monday news conference in the lobby of the CWB. “We’re very concerned with the message the federal government is sending to farmers and we won’t just let them pull the plug on the Canadian Wheat Board.”
Allen Oberg, a producer who chairs in the CWB board of directors, says farmers have the right to determine the future of their marketing agency.
“We pay for the CWB, we run it, we should decide what happens to it,” Oberg said.
The campaign, which will focus on highlighting the importance of the CWB to farmers and the provincial economy, will begin running today.
Should the CWB end up closing, 400 staff at its Winnipeg headquarters would be affected.
Last year, CWB gross revenues were among the highest in its history at $5.2 billion. It also is the single-biggest user of the Port of Churchill, shipping 600,000 tonnes of wheat last year alone.
Manitobans can sign a petition in support of the CWB at all Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives GO offices and at gov.mb.ca.