The Canadian Wheat Board in an Open Market: The Impact of Removing the Single-Desk Selling Powers


Over the summer and early autumn of 2006, the Government of Canada has indicated its desire to remove the single-desk selling powers of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). The purpose of this paper is to explore the impacts of this proposal. The main conclusion of the paper is that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the CWB to survive as an organization. Thus, contrary to what the recent task force report by the federal government indicates, the most likely impact of removing the single-desk selling powers is that the CWB will cease to exist. The elimination of the CWB would transform the Canadian grains industry, with the impact of this change felt in virtually every part of the system. The changes that would accompany the loss of the CWB's single-desk selling power would make the Canadian system more and more like that in the United States. It is expected, for instance, that grain company and railroad competition would fall, that producer cars and short line railways would suffer, that the current freight revenue cap would disappear, and that less value would be returned to farmers. Once these changes are made they are irreversible - it would be virtually impossible to go back and restore the system to what is currently in place. The decision to make in a plebiscite. In making this decision, farmers will have to ask themselves, "What is my vision of the grains sector in Canada?"Canadian Wheat Board, CWB, grain, CWB removal, Task Force Report, Crop Production/Industries, Marketing,

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Research Papers in Economics

Last time updated on 06/07/2012

This paper was published in Research Papers in Economics.

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