Canadian government, stop killing supply management

In [an October 2016] news program, there was an announcement that dairy farmers in Canada are the second most uncompetitive in the world.

NATIONAL FARMERS” UNION — In [an October 2016] CBC Vancouver noon news program, the business reporter made the odd announcement that dairy farmers in Canada are the second most uncompetitive in the world. This came immediately after reporting that a deal on CETA had been reached after the Belgian region of Wallonia resisted signing it due to their opposition to CETA’s anti-democratic Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses that allow corporations to sue governments if they believe new regulations will impinge on their expectations of profits.

CETA is opposed by many Canadian dairy farmers, as well as other farmers and consumers in solidarity. The deal would allow for an additional 17,000 tonnes of European cheese to enter Canada, taking away the market for, and livelihoods of, 400 Canadian dairy farms.

It appears that CBC’s business reporter (who is actually a public relations consultant for the finance industry, not a journalist) has attempted to justify one of the most damaging parts of CETA by disparaging Canadian dairy farmers with this comment. It is obvious that she has no knowledge of what hard-working Canadian dairy farmers are accomplishing 24-seven, 365 days a year. I cannot imagine a bigger slap in the face.

Dairy farmers have modernized their farms and are producing massive volumes of milk per farm and per unit of labour. Every day, Canadian dairy farmers supply the right amount of fresh milk to processors, always meeting their needs while avoiding over-supply. Canadian dairy farmers have had to adjust to the negative consequences of NAFTA, various WTO rulings, and now CETA and potentially the TPP further down the road. All of these trade agreements have added costs and taken away market share from Canadian producers. Yet the other jurisdictions that are now allowed to import into the Canadian dairy market as a result of these deals heavily subsidize their dairy sectors directly from the public purse. Here in Canada we do not do that!

Right wing think tanks like the C.D. Howe Institute, Fraser Institute, the Conference Board of Canada, and PR flacks from Bay Street for that matter, look at dairy “competitiveness” only in terms of the price processors pay farmers for raw milk. The massive subsidies received by dairy farmers in the USA, Europe and elsewhere are not included in farm gate prices there. Their “competitive” low dairy prices are in fact a public subsidy to the processors, not a reflection of the actual costs of production.

The right wing pundits also ignore the social cost associated with the deregulated dairy industry in these exporting countries. Right now there is a massive glut of surplus milk production in the world market driving down farm gate prices. Even with their government subsidies, dairy farmers in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand, are getting paid well below their cost of production. Farmers are suffering, going broke and there are more reports of suicides. The human costs are huge, but excess production makes the product cheap for multinational corporations sourcing dairy ingredients.

American and European legislators are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to fix their broken systems with their chronic over supply problems. Thank goodness for supply management in Canada! Except that every time we talk trade agreements, Canada’s negotiators deliver yet another severe blow to supply management. We have given away so much over the years and now we are asked again to give up even more with CETA.

Canadian government, stop killing supply management! Enough!

Just Posted

Alberta judge cleared in case where sex assault victim was shackled, jailed

Judicial council: Judge Raymond Bodnarek acted on Crown’s advice, tried to minimize victim’s hardship

Stettler Elementary getting school clubs up and running

Stettler Elementary Grade 4’s get to check out Smith’s igloo

Big Valley – A community to be thankful for

Big Valley blessed with choirs of ‘snow angels’

Judicial council finds no misconduct by Alberta judge of Aboriginal sex assault victim

Hearing after complaints of alleged poor treatment of woman with pseudonym Angela Cardinal

A Look Back – Stettler Independent Archive Files

Originally Submitted By: Margaret Connon and Mary-Jane Jackson Updated By: Landin Chambers

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Concert-goers unfazed by Hedley sexual misconduct allegations

Frontman Jacob Hoggard thanked fans from the ‘bottom of our hearts’ at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Stettler Regional Board of Trade announces 2018 Board of Directors

Matt Wall will serve as President for a second year

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.