Canadian Wheat Board Interface Rant

I so sick attempting to use government websites such as SpinHost 2for land title searching in Alberta and now e-services for the Canadian Wheat Board Site and guess what message I received

We have detected that you are using a browser or browser version that is not supported in CWB e-services.You will need to upgrade your browser to Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or better. Please select the Microsoft link below to download a free browser upgrade. Before downloading any browser, please ensure that it is compatible with your operating system.



Does the Canadian Wheat Board really think that creating e-services that are only compatible with Internet Explorer makes sense? Do they really think that this somehow makes them feel like they are now servicing their clients whom are online? In what online business would you think that it is OK to ignore at least 40% of your customers and think its good business or service?

Like many government organizations a complete disconnect with the public/customers is ingrained by years of bureaucratic ignorance that allows them to think that really they have no need to adapt the changing world around them. I am also sure that if I send in a complaint to either sites "Contact Us" link they would quote me some outdated statistic on PC vs Mac users and tell me to install parallels on my Mac so I can use it like a PC. The point that they are really missing is that regardless of Mac or PC preference that 40% of their customers are not using Internet Explorer.

I really hope they prove me wrong and give me an intelligent answer to my query but time will tell!


I love it when an organization is paying complete attention to to social media and technology and makes me eat my words! I woke up to a text message from Crystal at CWB stating that they working on compatibility with FireFox but it had been delayed due to some bugs in the system but was assured it was in progress. I was so impressed that I headed directly to to the office to update this post, but that was not the end of it. I then got an email from Richard Martin, Manager of Web Design Services for CWB to discuss my tweet regarding e-services and explain the history of e-services and the future of CWB's e-Services.

Immediately after I agreed to the call via email my phone rang and I had a great discussion with Richard where he explained the history and future of e-services at CWB. Initially the e-services was only a service provided to the elevators whom where only on Explorer and the browser market was 99% owned by Explorer. The service was then extended to farmers and of course the the browser market shares have also changed. He too identified that he is a FireFox user as is his dad who also shared in my frustration. However he did assure me they are working out some bugs in the e-services system under the Explorer platform before opening it to another browser, but they will get to a multi browser system in due time.

Let me say THANK YOU for not only addressing my issue but also paying attention to the various social media platforms that have conversations going on within them whether they choose to participate or not. I take back my earlier rant about your organization and humbly apologize as I now know that the Canadian Wheat Board is taking a proactive role in improving its services to farmers across Canada and surprisingly keeping up in social media also, Keep up the good work Richard!