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Harper's hitlist: The Senate and the Canadian Wheat Board columnist Murray Dobbin details the harm Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing to the political and social fabric of Canada in a new essay commissioned by The Council of Canadians. This article is an excerpt taken from the essay, the sixth in a 10-part series on Harper's assault on democracy.

Harper's obsession with reforming the Senate


Federal UPOV '91 agenda closes Cereal Research Centre

Photo: flickr/"Grain fields" by Richard Taylor

The Cereal Research Centre (CRC) is being closed this month, marking the end of nearly a century of public plant breeding in Winnipeg. It is another sorry landmark on the Harper government's systematic path of destruction through Canada's public agriculture institutions.

Publicly funded plant breeding at the CRC, along with other Agriculture Canada research stations and several Canadian universities, has produced most of Canada's cereal crop varieties, which are the foundation for our multi-billion dollar grain industry. According to Industry Canada, approximately 50 per cent of wheat and oat acreage in Canada is seeded to varieties developed at the CRC -- varieties that represent a farm-gate value of close to $2.5 billion.



Democracy whipped: The roots of Canada's grain transportation crisis

Photo: Chris Campbell/flickr

Problems in getting wheat to market may not be a top-of-mind issue for Canadians living east of the Prairies, but could have a significant impact on the next federal election. 

As western farmers wait and wait for Canada's rail companies to ship their grain, falling prices have largely wiped out profits from this past year's bumper harvest. Prairie politicians -- including Conservative premiers Alison Redford and Brad Wall -- have begged the federal government for months to act, warning about the grain transportation crisis.

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| February 10, 2014
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In four letters, Brian Jean, the Crossword King of Parliament Hill, has Q-U-I-T

| January 11, 2014
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Grass crime no! Grain crime yes! The inconsistencies of Prime Minister Harper

| August 25, 2013
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Board of Sex: Pining for pin-ups at the CWB

| February 14, 2013
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U.S. grain and seed ports will kill a few more Canadian jobs -- with a little help from Stephen Harper

| August 17, 2012
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Pure milk or pure ideology? Alberta MP attacks supply management

| August 8, 2012

Judge reserves decision on injunction against Bill C-18

Photo: Leif Larsen

Eight of the former farmer-elected directors of the Canadian Wheat Board were in court this week, seeking to stop any further implementation of Bill C-18.

In the face of protest from grain producers and a Federal Court decision criticizing the way the government had ignored parts of the Canadian Wheat Board Act, Bill C-18 became law on Dec. 15, 2011. The bill effectively ended the CWB's "single-desk" system, meaning farmers can sell their own wheat without going through the Wheat Board. Bill C-18 also meant dismissal of the 10 producer-elected members of the CWB, leaving the five government-appointed members in charge of the organization.


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