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Fernand Robichaud

The Hon. Fernand Robichaud, P.C. Appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Fernand Robichaud represents the province of New Brunswick and the Senatorial Division of Saint-Louis-de-Kent. He has served in the Senate of Canada since September 23, 1997.

Publications

Farmers should decide on future of Canadian Wheat Board

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Published by Senator Robert Peterson (retired) on 25 July 2011

The federal government's move towards unilaterally dismantling the single desk of the Canadian Wheat Board is gaining momentum, and the outcry from farmers is growing louder and more desperate. In 1998, amendments to the CWB Act were passed to ensure that such drastic reforms could only be enacted with a plebiscite of the grain producers themselves, that the Agriculture minister responsible would not endorse any such change without this free vote, and that the Agriculture minister would not present any bill to Parliament to change the Wheat Board without the approval of the majority of producers. But to please a fraction of their electorate and to fulfill a long-held desire of the Prime Minister's, the government has chosen a unique approach to dealing with the intricacies of the law—abolish it altogether. Their plan is to pass legislation in Parliament to repeal the CWB Act, with complete disregard for the democratic rights of Western Canadian producers.

How can Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ministers and Senators even imagine themselves to be justified in the disenfranchisement of Canadian farmers? How can our government justify this dictatorial subjugation of the Canadian Wheat Board? Their response is that the recent election, in which the Conservative Party won a majority, gave them a strong mandate from the Canadian people, and that this alone justifies them in scrapping the single desk of the CWB. The implication of such a statement is startling—the Conservatives are now claiming that any initiative they choose is warranted because they have a majority government.

To their credit, respecting the rights of their shareholders—the farmers—the board of directors of the CWB will be conducting a plebiscite this summer, in defiance of their disenfranchisement and in spite of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz's callous remarks of June 29, when he explicitly said that the value he would place on farmers' votes was "little to none."

Recent Publications

Autism families are still in crisis

31 Mar, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | We will mark World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Last month, a select committee of the Ontario Legislative Assembly published an interim report on developmental services in Ontario. The final recommendations will be submitted to the Ontario government in May.

Accountability & transparency for the whole of Parliament

25 Mar, 2014 | By Senator Percy Downe | I’ve spoken with many Canadians recently who’ve expressed that they want more transparency and greater accountability from their Government. They don’t want catch phrases. They don’t want promises. They want action; and given that both the Senate and the House of Commons represent the key link between Canadians and their government, it is our responsibility to keep up with these public demands.

The myth of Harper’s job creation record

4 Feb, 2014 | By Senator Art Eggleton | With close to 46,000 Canadians getting pink slips in December, Canadians are getting the picture that the economy is not as rosy as the Harper government says it is. We have been fed the myth that our economy is not only doing fine, but that we are world leaders. Unfortunately, we are not.

Ottawa Senators Become Free Agents: The New Senate

4 Feb, 2014 | By Senator Jim Cowan | On Wednesday, the Senate of Canada entered a new era. Justin Trudeau announced that the 32 sitting Liberal Senators would no longer be members of the national Liberal Caucus. His goal: to do his part to remove the excessive partisanship that has interfered with the Senate fulfilling its role of “sober second thought”. He promised Canadians that when he becomes Prime Minister, he will also end patronage appointments to the Senate, putting in place an open, transparent, and non-partisan public process for appointing and confirming senators.

The Case for an Unelected Senate

8 Dec, 2013 | By Senator Art Eggleton | Canadian Senators frequently express frustration at getting little or no attention for the work they do -- the comprehensive policy studies, and the "sober second thought" of legislation from the House of Commons. And when the spotlight does finally settle on the upper chamber, it is over the alleged misbehaviour of a few. Without doubt, such matters need full investigation, full disclosure, and appropriate corrective action for any misdeeds.
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