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LETTERS – for Nov. 7, 2011

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Board Guilty Of Ideological Bullying

Today, (Oct. 26), I made the very difficult decision to resign effective immediately as the director of District 1 of the Canadian Wheat Board. In a letter to CWB Chairman Allen Oberg, I expressed my deep regret in coming to the realization that I can no longer serve my constituents and western Canadian grain farmers in general from within the organization.

Driven by a lifetime of commitment and passion for agriculture, I sought a directorship with the CWB because I wanted to bring about change for the benefit of farmers. I fully understood the CWB s mandate and tried to improve its programs and services to farmers under that mandate. I saw many opportunities to provide farmers more freedom, flexibility and transparency, however, was in many cases treated as though my ideas would cause the destruction of the organization.

During my terms as director, I saw the decisions of many directors driven by hard-line ideology rather than business acumen. When those directors continually used pool account money to justify and support their views for a single desk, I found this ideological bullying unacceptable.

The CWB s decision this week to launch a legal challenge against the federal government over the proposed changes to the CWB Act, when it is clear to everyone that it will not change the outcome and would not change the timing of the government action, is simply wrong.

A previous decision to suspend a director for simply expressing his opinion about the August information meeting is simply wrong. And the decision to allow a motion on the table to change the bylaw requiring a two-thirds majority to remove a director is simply wrong. Such decisions and other discussions that have taken place around the CWB table are not about doing what is best for commercial farmers they are the decisions taken by ideological bullies.

What is happening at the CWB today is, in a word, wrong. To continue to work within the existing dysfunctional CWB board would be a disservice to those who voted me for me as their director. It would also be a disservice to all the farmers who want change and an option of using a voluntary CWB.

Furthermore, at this time protecting the single desk at all costs, is in my view, destroying future opportunities, harming the reputation of the farmers, demoralizing staff and creating uncertainty with customers and the industry, all of which will cost farmers money.

I believe the government s efforts to change the CWB are in the best interests of western Canadian grain producers and I will support their efforts and the efforts of other organizations and individuals committed to bring about positive change for western Canadian farmers.

Henry Vos Fairview, Alta

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