The milk wars

The Dairy Farmers of Canada are not impressed with Martha Hall Findlay. The Conservatives at least attempted to register their dismay yesterday, while the New Democrats issued the following release this morning.

Conservatives have put Canada’s supply management on the table in trade talks – and now we see some Liberals openly opposing our supply managed sectors, according to NDP International Trade Critic Don Davies. “New Democrats have a clear and strong policy: Canada’s supply managed sectors provide clear benefits to Canadians and will not be compromised, in trade talks or otherwise”, insisted Davies. He pointed out that supply management in Canada’s dairy, poultry and egg industries is a tested system for efficient delivery of safe, local food to Canadians. Davies said that, unlike other countries who subsidize their producers, Canada’s supply management policy doesn’t cost taxpayers a cent.

NDP Agriculture Critic Malcolm Allen added his concerns of what any concessions could mean for these important industries. “By putting supply management in the cross hairs of these negotiations, the Conservative government is attacking the livelihood of dairy, poultry and egg farmers right across the country; farmers who expect this government to live up to its word.”

Deputy NDP Agriculture Critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau added that supply-managed products are competitively priced, with Canadian milk costing less than Australia and New Zealand – and in the US taxpayers subsidize milk. “New Democrats will continue to stand up strongly for the dairy, poultry and egg sectors, important industries that employs thousands of people,” said Brosseau.

Dan Arnold considers the implications for the Liberal leadership race. BJ Siekierski scours Ms. Hall Findlay’s previous public comments on supply management. Her full report is here.