Canada Wheat Board may ask court to block Ottawa's
Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa November 28, 2011. Reuters

The Canadian Wheat Board and its supporters said on Friday they may seek an injunction to stop the federal government's move to end the board's monopoly on sales of Western Canadian wheat and barley.

A Federal Court judge ruled on Wednesday 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 board's monopoly. But the judge did not order the new legislation killed.

The legislation is scheduled to get final approval in the Senate on Thursday, after which it would need royal assent by the Governor General to become law.

Friends of the Canadian Wheat Board, the group that initially brought the case against the Conservative government, is considering asking for an injunction to stop the bill from taking effect. But the group's lawyer, Anders Bruun, said it would not do so until after the bill becomes law.

(An injunction) would prevent the government from acting on that piece of legislation, Bruun said. We'll have to see what the government does, and it may not be necessary, (if) they back up and do things in the proper procedure and have a vote.

The Wheat Board, which is calling on the government to let farmers decide its fate, is looking at all of its options, including a possible injunction, said spokeswoman Maureen Fitzhenry.

Conservative Member of Parliament David Anderson said on Friday the government will appeal the court's Wednesday ruling and proceed with the bill to end by next August the Wheat Board's 68-year-old monopoly on marketing Western wheat and barley for milling or export.

We need to get some certainty in place for Western Canadian farmers in terms of the legislation, Anderson said. So that's why we need to move ahead ... we've got a strong feeling our appeal will be successful.