KPMG'S status update on the 2007 Barley Plebiscite

    TORONTO, March 27 /CNW/ - KPMG LLP today provided an update on the
progress of the 2007 Barley Plebiscite in its role as vote administrator.
    On Friday, March 23 KPMG completed procedures to verify the eligibility
of farming entities that had returned self-declarations to KPMG in accordance
with the vote instructions.
    Throughout the verification process the confidentiality of ballot
selections was maintained. The KPMG personnel who handled and processed
ballots were separate from those who processed and verified declarations.
    Verification procedures included comparing farming entity information to
federal Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization ("CAIS") and Grain and
Oilseeds Payment Program ("GOPP") data, provincial Production Insurance ("PI")
data, and making direct inquiries with producers. The nature of the inquiries
was to verify the eligibility of farming entities and to assist the producer
in confirming they had not inadvertently submitted more declarations than the
eligibility criteria permitted.
    Producers were selected for telephone inquiries based on several criteria
including a random sample of all declarations, multiple declarations submitted
from a single address and declarations with the same name submitted from
different addresses. No information from outside of the submitted
declarations, federal CAIS and GOPP data and provincial PI data was used to
select declarations for verification. Affiliation with farm interest groups,
political parties and other organizations was not considered in selecting
declarations for verification.
    In no instance was a producer asked any questions regarding their voting
    KPMG staff responsible for performing the verification procedures did not
have access to ballots and had no knowledge of the ballot choices of those
farming entities selected for verification.
    On Saturday, March 24, 2007, KPMG opened the secrecy envelopes containing
the ballots in the presence of scrutineers and performed a manual count of the
ballots. All ballots were counted twice by different KPMG personnel.
    The counting of ballots was performed in the presence of senior municipal
elections officials from the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
who acted as scrutineers during the count. The scrutineers observed the
opening of the sealed secrecy envelopes, the sorting of the ballots, and the
counting of the ballots. All potentially spoiled ballots were adjudicated in
the presence of the scrutineers and there were no objections to the final
determinations made. The scrutineers also observed the sealing of counted
ballots and producer declarations. One of the scrutineers signed the security
seals on ballots and declarations and will observe the breaking of those seals
and the destruction of the ballots and declarations subsequent to the federal
government's reporting of the results.
    Each of the scrutineers confirmed in writing that they witnessed the
entire ballot count and that they were satisfied that the tabulation process
was conducted in an independent and objective manner.
    KPMG has finalized the tabulation of results and is submitting a final
report to the federal government.

For further information:

For further information: on the 2007 Western Canadian Barley
Plebiscite... Visit:, Email:,
Call: 1-888-3BARLEY (1-888-322-7539), Fax: 1-877-6BARLEY (1-877-622-7539),
Mail: KPMG LLP, PO Box 2580, Station Main, Winnipeg, MB, R3C 4B3

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