Canadian wheat farmers ramp up ‘Stop the Steamroller campaign’
New television ad calls on Canadians to join the fight to support
Campaign gains momentum as thousands of Canadians send letters to MPs
WINNIPEG, Nov. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – It’s a powerful image: a giant, 12 tonne
steamroller rolling over a field of wheat. It’s an equally powerful
message: ‘This is how the Harper Government harvests wheat’. This
new television spot, released this morning by the Canadian Wheat Board
(CWB), is sending an urgent message to Canadians: if you support
farmers and you disagree with the government’s illegal decision to
dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board – the time to speak out is now.
The TV commercial is part of a new campaign, launched this week by the
CWB, to encourage Canadians to stand up to the Harper government’s plan
to unravel the board by Christmas even though the majority of farmers
oppose the decision. The campaign has received an impressive 2,500+
texts in the first three days, with each one sending a letter to an MP.
“Many Canadians don’t realize what’s about to happen to farmers if this
devastating legislation is passed, and passed at this speed,” said
Allen Oberg, a farmer from Forestburg, Alberta and Chair of the
Canadian Wheat Board. “The Harper government is trying to steamroll
this legislation through even though it’s illegal, unethical and the
opposite of what the majority of farmers want. We are very pleased
with the response we’ve had in the first few days of our campaign and
hope thousands more Canadians will help us take a stand.”
The campaign, which includes print, radio, TV, a microsite and online
advertising, asks Canadians to visit www.stopthesteamroller.ca or text FARMER to 24680 to show their support. The text generates a
letter to MPs opposing the decision to dismantle the Wheat Board by the
end of the year.
Why are the government’s actions illegal?
Despite the fact that the law requires the government to consult with
farmers on any changes to the CWB, the government refused to hold a
vote among farmers and says it will ignore the vote conducted by the
CWB. Not only is the decision illegal, it’s also the opposite of what
the farmers themselves want: a recent plebiscite among wheat and
barley famers showed that 62 per cent want to keep the CWB.
What happens to Canadian farmers without the CWB?
-- Small farmers will be left to negotiate their own prices with giant American food conglomerates - this will mean the beginning of the end of the small, family farms that form the backbone of Canadian agriculture. -- Farms that have been in families for generations may be bought out by American and multinational companies. -- Farmers will have to compete not only against each other but also against much larger companies that can afford to set their prices lower because they have such great volume of grain. -- The hundreds of millions of dollars that the CWB makes for prairie farmers will instead go to private grain company profits. The CWB is paid for and run by the farmers themselves - it receives no public subsidies. -- The wheat and barley industry will go from being run by Canadians to being run by Americans. -- Beyond farmers, the elimination of the CWB will hurt many small communities throughout Western Canada economically.
More information is available www.stopthesteamroller.ca
SOURCE CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
Video with caption: “Video: Canadian Wheat Board – Stop the Steamroller TV Spot”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111105_C2994_VIDEO_EN_6193.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111105_C2994_PHOTO_EN_6193.jpg&clientName=CANADIAN%20WHEAT%20BOARD&caption=Video%3A%20Canadian%20Wheat%20Board%20%2D%20Stop%20the%20Steamroller%20TV%20Spot&title=Canadian%20Wheat%20Board%20%2D%20Stop%20the%20Steamroller%20TV%20Spot
Image with caption: ” Canadian Wheat Board – Stop the Steamroller Print Ad (CNW Group/CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111105_C2994_PHOTO_EN_6191.jpg
Audio with caption: “Canadian Wheat Board – Stop the Steamroller Radio Spot”. Audio available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/11/05/20111105_C2994_AUDIO_EN_6192.mp3