Privately-owned marketing and distribution companies have
greatly helped bean and lentil farmers find markets for
their produce. They are in a position to assist small-scale
wheat farmers who have previously depended on the wheat
board to purchase and resell their produce. Distributors
such as the Peter Goudas group from Toronto distribute
packages of whole-kernel barley and wheat to supermarkets.
There may be scope for small-scale Western grain farmers to
make direct contact with such food distribution companies to
seek possible markets for their produce.
It is not the mandate of
any government to protect the market interests of inefficient and marginal
producers against legitimate, free-market competition. The once mighty General
Motors declared bankruptcy as a result of legitimate competition, that is,
citizens choosing to buy products from other manufacturers. When government
stepped in to rescue the bankrupt General Motors from liquidation and possible
takeover by a competitor, it did so on the backs of actors in the rest of the
economy who had to absorb the cost of such action.
The market success of
Western Canadian producers of fruits, vegetables, and legumes has been achieved
independently of government economic planning and market regulation. Private
farmers have already shown that certain agricultural sectors can actually
flourish and succeed without government regulation, management or marketing. The
possible absence of a government-run Canadian Wheat Board would require wheat
growers to follow the lead of farmers who produce other kinds of produce. There
is scope for one or more private companies to replace the wheat board and
possibly purchase their storage installations and transportation equipment.
Many sectors of the
Canadian economy are presently subject to some form of government regulation,
management, or control. Any attempt by government to encourage greater market
freedom must include an end to economic regulation. While such regulation may
purport to achieve some politically noble purpose, such objectives may occur
over the short term only with a very different result occurring over the long
term. Successful deregulation can only be achieved through the closure of
marketing agencies, tribunals, or marketing boards. While the possible closure
may be a good start in government getting out of the way, the performance of
many other sectors of Canada's economy are also restrained by long-outdated and
obsolete economic regulations.