Opposition skirmish on Canadian Wheat Board fails

Thu Dec 8, 2011 7:21pm EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - An opposition attempt to derail government legislation to end the Canadian Wheat Board's grain marketing monopoly failed in the Canadian Senate on Thursday.

Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella ruled the chamber should proceed with the legislation, which had already passed the House of Commons, despite a court ruling on Wednesday that the Conservative government should have consulted farmers first.

The Liberal opposition had argued that the bill, to end the monopoly on marketing Western Canadian wheat and barley as of next August, should be put on hold in light of the decision.

The Federal Court judge held that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had breached existing law by not consulting with the Canadian Wheat Board or holding a farmer vote beforehand. But he did not order the new legislation to be killed.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Todd Eastham)