Parliament approves Wheat Board bill

Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:52pm EST
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Parliament gave final approval on Thursday to a government bill to end the Canadian Wheat Board's 68-year-old grain marketing monopoly, but legal challenges threaten to leave farmers and the grain industry in limbo into the New Year.

The Senate easily passed the Conservative government's legislation to end the CWB's monopoly on sales of western wheat and barley for export or milling. It had already passed through the House of Commons and is expected to get royal assent by Friday morning to enable it to become law, effective next August.

The Wheat Board has already asked a Manitoba court to declare the legislation invalid and will be in court on Friday morning to ask for implementation of the law to be temporarily suspended until the court decides whether to strike it down.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer in Ottawa and Rob Nickel in Winnipeg)