To Orwell Today,

Who gives a flying F about a mere $300,000 handed to Brian Mulroney by a sleazy lobbyist for Airbus. In his Maclean's BLOG, Andrew Coyne has nominated a number of catchy terms to capture this scandal gate. In his debut article in Maclean's magazine, "Prime ministers and their friends" Coyne concludes that "Harper is tied to Mulroney, as Mulroney is tied to Schreiber".

But what deal was struck between Mulroney and the American food giant Archer Daniels Midland, one of the world's largest dealers in grain?

(Quick. Which Canadian prime minister campaigned with the promise that we would not enter NAFTA, then reneged, and now sits on the board of ADM, which, by nature, sees no role for a viable Canadian Wheat Board)?

ADM with sales of 44 billion and net earnings this year of 2.2 billion.

ADM guilty of criminal charges of price fixing and fined 100 million, the largest antitrust fine in U.S. history in 1996.

ADM which was successfully sued 400 million in a class action anti-trust lawsuit in 2005.

ADM subject to several major federal lawsuits related to air pollution, rated the tenth largest air polluter in the U.S.

ADM whose lobbying and campaign contributions cost the U.S. taxpayer roughly $3 billion dollars a year in maintained subsidies for its products.

ADM whose CEO Dwayne Andreas is famously quoted as as having stated to a reporter "There isn't one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country."

ADM which is accused of using child and slave labour, genetically engineering its products, and using political influence to receive special treatment from the federal government.

ADM about which two books were written last year about its criminal activities. "Rats in the Grain" and "The Informant".

ADM whose 2007 annual report states that " the substantial majority of the Company's raw materials are procured from thousands of grain elevators and wholesale merchants, principally in North America... pursuant to short-term agreements (under 1 year) or on a spot basis."

ADM which is rapidly expanding into the bio-fuels business and sees that "Future government policies may adversely affect the supply of, demand for, and prices of the Company's products, restrict the Company's ability to do business in its existing and target markets, and could negatively impact revenues and operating results."

ADM who has one foreign ex-prime minister on its board.

The prime minister who supposedly left us a Green legacy.

The policies of the Canadian government could adversely impact ADM's bottom line.

Before he became prime minister, Stephen Harper denounced the CWB as a “draconian wheat monopoly” that “relied on force and fear to exist.”

"Harper is tied to Mulroney, as Mulroney is tied to ADM."

As agribusiness swallows the family farm, the Wheat Board faces an uncertain future
by John Herd Thompson, The Beaver, Canada's History Magazine, August-September 2006

The board’s most vociferous opponent, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, clamours for its privatization. The association has good reason to anticipate that the new Conservative government will do this. Before he became prime minister, Stephen Harper denounced the CWB as a “draconian wheat monopoly” that “relied on force and fear to exist.”

Harper based his statement on Don Baron’s 1998 bestseller Canada’s Great Grain Roberry, an account of prairie grain marketing. ... The seriousness with which other-wise sensible people take Baron’s absurd polemic provides striking evidence that the Canadian Wheat Board is the least known and least understood of Canada’s national instituions. ... The board was a uniquely Canadian response to a turbulent international wheat market, a response very different from that of the United States Grain Corporation... The board’s success delighted medium-scale and small-scale prairie farm familes, who praised the “orderly marketing” that the board made possible ...

The near collapse of grain markets during the depression forced R.B. Bennett’s Conservative government to propose a permanent national marketing monopoly of all grains. Prairie farm organizations were delighted, but the private grain trade and its political allies in the Liberal and Conservative caucuses successfully blocked the compulsory grain board.

The King government intended to end the CWB monopoly in 1945, but the board’s popularity among prairie farmers made that impossible. ... Despite a massive public relations campaign financed by the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, Nine of ten Manitoba farmers voted for the board. For prairie farmers, argues political scientist David E. Smith, the CWB came to have a status “ equivalent to a farmers’ Magna Carta.”

Each successive decennial census records the grim decline of the family farm, the base of CWB support, and the ascendancy of the mechanized farmer-businessman who believes that he can market his crop better than the wheat board.

Medium-sized prairie farms are not gone yet. Just as the Western Canadian Wheat Growers speak for farming as a business, the National Farmer’s Union, founded in 1969, speaks for family farming as a way of life. The NFU defends the Wheat Board as fiercely as the WCWG attacks it, but economic and political circumstances conspire to favour agribusiness over the family farm. Contemporary Canadian grain growers must not delude themselves, however, about the past to justify new directions they might wish to take today. The Canadian Wheat Board was not imposed upon prairie farmers by foreign radicals or by distant federal bureaucrats. Instead, it was a uniquely Canadian policy solution that dealt with the persistent problems of prairie agriculture with remarkable success.

-James Finley

Greetings James,

Yes, I realize the $300,000 that Mulroney received from that sleazy Schreiber guy is a pittance hardly worth talking about in the scheme of things relating to his schemes but him admitting it is what made it newsworthy. Now I wonder if Mulroney will have to pay back the $2.1 million he got from the Canadian government (we the taxpayers) after winning the libel suit denying he had sleazy dealings with Schreiber.

...interesting info on him and ADM and them and the WCWG and the NFU and the CWB. I've written a fair amount about food control, which you can find under the heading TAKE NOT OUR DAILY BREAD.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~