Call for Gerry Ritz to Resign!

Call for Gerry Ritz to Resign!

Postby Oscar » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:48 am

Call for Gerry Ritz to resign!

March 27, 2008

Gentlemen:

May I request that your Members vote against Bill C-46, yet another clumsy attempt to avoid following both the letter and the spirit of the C.W.B. Act, and defeat a Bill that will not reflect the right of farmers to decide by fair and legal plebiscite their choice of marketing. Bill C-46 also removes several important guarantees for farmers. Please ensure that all legal provisions of the C.W.B. Act are followed for any changes in grain marketing.

Secondly, Mr. Ritz, in reply to a question in the House on March 13th from Mr. Layton, admitted that he had asked for personal confidential information from the C.W.B. concerning farmers who had taken part in an organic pilot programme. He maintained that he had received no information, and so had done nothing illegal.

The act of demanding this confidential information is in itself illegal, whether or not he received it. Mr. Ritz contravened the Privacy Act by making such a demand, and is yet further proof that the Minister feels he is above the law.

By his reasoning, a bank robber who fails to steal any cash in a botched attempt is not guilty of criminal behavior. I believe that the police would interpret the criminal law differently.

This attempt to illegally obtain personal and confidential information shows clearly that Mr. Ritz is unfit to be a Minister of the Crown, and I request that your Parties demand and obtain the resignation of this Minister.

Thank you for your consideration,

Phil Bladen,
Box 235, Preeceville, SK.
Oscar
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Layton's Reply re: Call for Ritz' Resignation

Postby Oscar » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:51 am

April 4, 2008

Mr. Bladen

Thank you for writing in support of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).

The NDP has been consistent in its support of the CWB and has condemned the recent action by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz for asking the Canadian Wheat Board for private and confidential information on grain farmers. We believe that this Conservative government is shameful in its determination to dismantle our great prairie institution that farmers built to balance corporate power and ensure fairer prices for grain.

Prime Minister Harper has no mandate to destroy what farmers have built through generations of hard work. The Wheat Board exists to get a better deal for farmers. This works extremely well and, according to audited studies, Wheat Board prices are much better over the long haul with direct economic benefits to Saskatchewan alone worth $300-million each year.

New Democrats are defending the 75,000 grain farmers’ right to a strong Wheat Board—to secure fair prices and support their families. The Federal Court stopped Harper’s backroom attempt to strip the Wheat Board’s single-desk barley marketing authority. Now the Conservatives are trying to do the same thing with legislation, Bill C-46. They say they want to give “choice” to farmers, but they know that stripping single-desk power will end the Wheat Board role—something that only 13.8% of farmers chose in a plebiscite.

Stephen Harper and Gerry Ritz want to deliver control and lower long-term prices to their corporate friends—even if that means squeezing family farmers. This is the government that improperly ousted a Wheat Board president who spoke out and the government that ridiculed calls for a farmer vote on their plans—before finally staging an unfair, discredited, three-question plebiscite. Clearly, this government has proved to Saskatchewan that it can’t be trusted.

While the Conservatives bully farmers on behalf of their insider friends, Canada's NDP is fighting for the right of farmers to decide their own future. NDP agriculture policy starts with hard-working farming families and the need to stabilize farm incomes, where we create a level playing field with foreign producers and have a permanent farm support fund.

Let me assure you as Leader of the NDP, our party will continue to defend the economic and trade interests of Canadian farmers in this session of Parliament and work to defeat Bill C-46.

Sincerely,

Jack Layton, MP Toronto-Danforth
Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada
Oscar
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