The NDP Agriculture Critic, Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford), and Deputy Agriculture Critic, Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé), issued the following statement:
“Today’s announcement reminds us that in a single mandate, Justin Trudeau traded away nearly 8.4% of our dairy production and processing capacity. The Liberals, like the Conservatives before them, are gradually destroying our supply management system and the vitality of our agriculture system. Supply management has been the lifeblood of our regions, and it contributes to our food sovereignty.
We should be proud of the system we implemented, and we must protect it, not use it as a bargaining chip during trade negotiations. New Democrats are not afraid to stand up to our trade partners to protect dairy farmers and the supply management system. We did it for CETA, for diafiltered milk, for CPTPP, for CUSMA and you can continue to count on us to stand up and speak out against any further concessions to the dairy sector. As government, we commit to never opening more breaches during future free trade negotiations.
After promising to fully compensate the dairy industry, the Liberals announced a package that doesn’t make a clear long-term commitment over the first year in terms of direct paid compensations to producers and does not fully cover the losses incurred by CETA and CPTPP. And this, a couple of weeks before an election. The Liberals forgot about small processors and did not take any concrete commitment for compensation due to losses from CUSMA.
The NDP is committed to fully compensating producers for losses due to all trade deals including CUSMA.
We will also hold reciprocal standards with our business partners and give our farmers and producers equal footing when competing with foreign products in the Canadian marketplace.
We must value and be proud of our local agriculture because products made here meet high quality standards.”