POLITICS

Wheat board to build Manitoba grain facility in run-up to privatization

10/03/2014 12:30 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST
WINNIPEG - The Canadian Wheat Board is building another grain-handling facility in Manitoba as it gears up for privatization.

The wheat board says the new elevator to be built near St. Adolphe, south of Winnipeg, will be able to store 34,000 tonnes of grain when it begins operating in 2016.

The Crown-owned organization says the facility will provide excellent rail access to its Thunder Bay terminal as well as to western ports, the U.S. and Mexico.

The CWB has been busy buying and building to strengthen its network, which includes other grain facilities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

The company also plans to add a grain facility in Alberta to its holdings.

Under federal law, the CWB is to be privatized no later than July 31, 2017, but the board says it expects to beat that deadline and hopes to present its plan to Ottawa early next year.

"CWB's rapidly growing network of grain-handling facilities continues to attract considerable interest by farmers, potential investors and the public," CEO Ian White said Friday in a release about the St. Adolphe project.

The federal government passed a law in 2011 that stripped the Canadian Wheat Board of its monopoly on western wheat and barley sales. Farmers can still market their grain through the board, but now it is a voluntary decision.

The cost of the new St. Adolphe facility was not released.