Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board has submitted an application to have its case against the federal government heard in open court.
FCWB is challenging Ottawa's right to change the Canadian Wheat Board's marketing mandate without a producer plebiscite.
Anders Bruun, legal counsel for the Friends of hte CWB says on July 18th, the federal government filed a motion to have the case dismissed, on the grounds that it does not have legal basis, and to have a judge rule on the basis of written representation, which would happen behind closed doors.
"We want all aspects of the issue to be heard in open court so we filed an application seeking to have that consideration of whether the case is worthy of going ahead or not in open court. We also want the question of how the case ought to be considered by the judge to be heard in open court," explains Bruun.
The Canadian Wheat Board itself has also filed an application to have the proceedings open to the public.
The federal government has four days to reply to the FCWB's application, which was filed on Wednesday, August 3.
"At that point, it'll be a matter of us requisitioning a hearing, and the timeline for that would be ten days to three weeks forward, so we'll be looking at a disposition of this particular issue in under four weeks," says Bruun.
He says he believes they have a strong case against the federal government.
"Parliament has already spoken on this issue and has already said there must be a plebiscite before any change to the Board's marketing mandate. The question now is whether a provision like that is something that, independently of what parliament has said in the past, can be repealed. There is decent case law developing that where parliament has made a commitment, it has to honour that commitment. It can't just change the law and back away from a commitment made by previous parliaments," says Bruun. "We're getting into fairly new areas of the law, but there is that argument that can be made."
"We think there's a very reasonable prospect that we will have success in this case."