Updated: March 13, 2019

About Canadian Grain Act Modernization

The Canadian Wheat Board was part of a large grain management system. Industry is not static, and the global wheat value chain is no different. There has been huge investments in grain handling facilities, new organizations like Cereals Canada have been formed, and consumer trends and tastes have changed. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link though and the Canada Grain Act and Grain Commission that oversees it need modernization.

The Issues

Many guidelines are outdated. Does anyone believe that grain regulations today will be sufficient in 3-4 decades? Why then should we accept today’s regulations that were created 3-4 decades ago? The Act and Commission need to be optimized to deliver value. Not all requirements are appropriate and required services could be offered more efficiently and cost effectively.

End user food companies do much research to “touch the consumer”. That link of the value chain must be engaged and farmers should be rewarded for growing grain with valued characteristics. Having both public and private breeders, with global networks and access to the latest technology, will improve the chances of Canadian Wheat Growers being competitive and profitable.

Our Position

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers support a full review of the Grain Act and Grain Commission, from how it’s structured, to the services it offers, and how they’re provided.

The current surplus must be returned to farmers via reduced fees, and the surplus should not be used for anything else until a full review is complete.

Grading needs to be completely rethought based on the modern world of specifications and functionality. Farmers should be able to sell grain by class, or by specification, for which the current system must be optimized. Grain handlers and rail companies would be happy to handle one bulk class of various grades of grain, capturing margin in the blending process and optimizing profit. But that does not serve our customers or farmers well, and the remit of the Grain Commission is to act in the best interests of farmers.

What We Are Doing

Guess who’s paying for new grain grading?

"Working with proposed changes to grading factors can translate into a lot of speculation, and that’s troubling for Jim Wickett, chair of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association."

Federal Budget Fails Entrepreneurial Grain Farmers

CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers put a failing grade on the 2019 Federal Budget announced yesterday. What little is contained in the budget for agriculture only fixes problems that the federal government has previously created. The new exclusion of the carbon tax on cardlock fuel should never have been necessary. Compensation for sectors […]

New Trade Agreement Requires Changes To Canada’s Grain Act

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association sees the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement as a good step forward for Canada. One change impacting the wheat sector is that any registered wheat varieties grown on either side of the border would be recognized in the other country.

The grain commission has an extra $130M. But a refund to farmers would be illegal

In a news release, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association expressed "outrage" at the overcharge and resulting surplus. The association's chair, Jim Wickett, proposes the industry look at private sector numbers and find more cost-effective ways to provide the services of the commission.

Canadian Grain Commission Surplus has Farm Groups, Producers Expressing Outrage

The Canadian Grain Commission has a $130-million dollar surplus and announced plans to invest that money. They plan to create a $40-million contingency fund to protect itself against future declines in delivery volumes, and invest the remaining $90-million in grain quality assurance and strengthening safeguards.

Grain Commission Surplus Spending Not Sitting Well With Some Farm Groups

“This surplus is built on the backs of hard working farmers, money that should be in their pockets, not CGC coffers," said Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) President Levi Wood.

Wheat Growers View Changes to CGC Grades as the Next Step in Marketing Freedom

CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association welcome the move towards grain grades based on specification and the start of a broad review to determine the relevance of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). Grain grades moving away from the current subjective grading system to an objective specification based system would add transparency for farmers. […]

Growers Review the Good, Bad, and Ugly in 2017 Government Budgets

CALGARY, AB: Today, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association commented on the federal and provincial budgets tabled this afternoon, as well as those tabled and impending during this 2017 budget cycle. “In the federal budget today, it was great to see some priority spending focusing on critical infrastructure, such as the announced National Trade Corridors […]

Wheat Growers Reiterate Call for Immediate Reduction of Grain Commission User Fees

CALGARY, AB: Today, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association reiterated their call for an immediate reduction—and refund—of Grain Commission user fees that have been overcharged to grain farmers to the tune of an incredible $100 million. “Since calling for a reduction and refund of farmers’ money earlier this month, we’ve learned more, and it isn’t […]

Wheat Growers Call for Refund on Grain Commission User Fees

The Canadian Grain Commission’s large surplus from user fees over the last few years needs be drawn down and returned to farmers, says the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.

Farmers overcharged nearly $100 million in CGC user fees

The Canadian Grain Commission has built up a surplus of nearly $100 million since 2013-14 through excess user fees collected from Canadian grain farmers. That surplus has prompted the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association to call for surplus fees to be immediately returned to grain farmers.

Wheat Growers Call for Immediate Reduction on Grain Commission User Fees

CALGARY, AB: Today, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association called for an immediate reduction on Grain Commission user fees paid by grain farmers, and called for the refund back to growers of tens of millions of farmers’ dollars having been collected in overcharges, creating a massive and unnecessary surplus. “With approximately $100 million of farmers’ […]