The Canadian Wheat Board said on Wednesday that it will ask a court to stop the federal government from ending its 68-year-old grain marketing monopoly.

A Federal Court judge ruled last week that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had breached existing law by not consulting with the Wheat Board or holding a farmer vote before introducing legislation to end the CWB's monopoly on sales of Western Canadian wheat and barley. But he did not order the new legislation to be killed.

Wheat Board Chairman Allen Oberg said the board will ask a Manitoba court to rule the government's bill is invalid because it breaks the law, and ask for an order stopping its implementation.

This government has put itself above the law by proceeding with this bill, Oberg said.

The government's bill has already cleared the House of Commons and is scheduled for a final vote by the Conservative-controlled senate on Thursday evening. After that it needs only the usually automatic royal assent by the governor general to become law.

Oberg said the board will take its court action as soon as the bill becomes law and may be in court as early as Friday.