POLITICS

Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board to seek leave to appeal to Supreme Court

11/04/2014 05:23 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST
SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. - The group Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board hopes to take its multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Ottawa to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The lawsuit filed in 2012 is over legislation that removed the wheat board's marketing monopoly on western wheat and barley sales.

Last month, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against the group's challenge of a lower-court decision that struck down parts of a class-action lawsuit that alleges expropriation and interference with economic relations.

Stewart Wells, a spokesman for the group, says it will seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

He says the Federal Court of Appeal ruling does not properly address what he called the injustice of Ottawa seizing and disposing of wheat board assets paid for by farmers.

The federal government plans to privatize the wheat board before August 2017.

"Most farmers understand their CWB assets have been stolen from them by Ottawa," said Tuesday.

The assets include rail cars and ships that were bought with money from farmers' grain sales. They also include a contingency fund that was partially financed by producer fees.

Board supporters argue that they have a proprietary interest in the assets.

In part of its Oct. 15 ruling, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the right of the group to sue Ottawa over wheat board money that it claims was misallocated in the 2011-12 crop year.

Statements of claim contain allegations that have not been proven in court.