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Trump and Biden loosen Quebec dairy stranglehold

Experts say supply management and handouts are propping up an industry concentrated in Central Canada to the detriment of consumers nationwide.

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A victory for the U.S. in its trade challenge against the Canadian dairy industry could actually help expand choices for Canadian consumers.

Experts say supply management and handouts are propping up an industry concentrated in Central Canada to the detriment of consumers nationwide.

The U.S. alleges Canada hindered its southern neighbour from capitalizing on the small portion of the Canadian dairy market that was conceded in the 2018 USMCA. Instead, Canada allocated most of its import permits to Canadian processors, who tended to import lower-value milk products and used them to make their own high-valued retail products for retail sales. That allegedly kept high-value U.S. retail products off of the shelves.

Sylvain Charlebois, Senior Director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said Canadian consumers lose under the status quo, propping up an inefficient industry through supply management and tax dollars, only to be left with fewer, but more expensive products available.

“The system really doesn’t necessarily doesn’t work for consumers, it works for the dairy industry. And so that needs to be fixed, but the knight in shining armor are the Americans, not our own dairy sector. (former President Donald) Trump was the first elected politician outside of Canada to acknowledge that their supply management is a problem for the world.”

Canada has almost 11,000 commercial farms, with 4,732 in Quebec and at least 4,000 in Ontario. The average Canadian dairy herd has 97 cows, but in Quebec farms average 76. In the western United States, where market forces rule, the average farm has 1,057 cows.  

In 2019, dairy farmers were pledged $1.75B by Ottaw to compensate for its loss of market share due to trade deals with the Pacific Rim and Europe. The annual marketing budget of Canadian dairy farmers is $130 million and its powerful lobby keeps its interests entrenched.

“This is really a tough industry. And they’ll go after any dissonant voices,” Charlebois said.

“Just this year, they’ve actually sent out several letters asking Dalhousie to fire me. They’ve actually threatened the university to pull some of their research funding from the agricultural campus.”

Charlebois said he’s not the only agri-food academic to feel the heat.

“A lot of people have actually paid a dear price over the years. Some have lost their jobs. They’ve lost their careers. People have been threatened. I’ve been threatened many times. This spring, I had the Halifax Police over my house to report some incidents…[of] emails and phone calls and stuff like that,” he said.

At Econ Americas, a financial consultancy, Fergus Hodgson told the Western Standard that supply management is no small matter.

“I do think this is an important issue…with a very clear distinction between what Canadian people want and need… and what Ottawa is doing,” Hodgson said. 

“Some organizations or lobbies can control the regulations related to their industry to the detriment of the rest of the country…The dairy and know this whole supply management system is just an eyesore that continues on.”

Hodgson wishes Canada embraced free trade for the good of all and did not attempt backhanded protectionism.

“Picking a fight with the United States at such a time is just absurd. I don’t know why Canada would even do this. This is such a vulnerable time economically for the country. And we all know that the US is head and shoulders above any other trading partner. So really, getting into a fight over some dairy products is just begging for a retaliation, which would be far more painful to Canada than to the United States,” he said.

The U.S. first lodged its trade complaint in December while Trump was still president. In May, the Biden administration used provisions of the USMCA to request a three-member panel to rule on the dispute. The panel’s final report is expected in November.

Harding is a Western Standard reporter based in Saskatchewan

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Darlene Belford

    June 4, 2021 at 9:17 am

    So true Left Coast! And what about the recent, sudden, furniture tariffs imposed on furniture from China and Vietnam–295% and 101.5%–because of a complaint to CBSA from “a” Canadian manufacturer? Not only does this make furniture insanely unaffordable to low and middleclass Canadians but also has the potential to put furniture retailers out of business–all at a time when governments should be doing everything they can to encourage economic recovery. And in case they don’t get it, recovery does NOT mean “government” choosing winners and losers; just GET OUT OF THE WAY!

  2. Left Coast

    June 4, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Senile Joe Biden likely knows nothing of any of this . . .
    he can barely utter 3 sentences that make sense and thats with a Prompter.

    Today the world is laughing at the USA, like they have been laughing at Canada since 2015.

    Sad reality is . . . Evil forces on the Globe are now setting things in motion that could restrict our Freedom & Liberty in the coming months & years . . . Our FakeStream Media is completely complicit!

  3. Left Coast

    June 3, 2021 at 9:38 am

    The Trade Deal negotiated by Trump, the USMCA fixed some of the shortcomings of the previous NAFTA. Canada signed on at the last minute . . . Freeland & the gang completely dropped the ball, and are still looking for it today.

    Nothing is more anti-consumer than Canada’s Dairy Cartel and the gaggle of Marketing Boards which keep the price of things they control High. Long past time lack of Competition & removal of inter-provincal Trade Barriers became history in Canada!

    “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
    Ronald Reagan

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Lawyer blasts Alberta sports facilities for vaccine passport policies

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

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Lawyer Derek From has sent a stern warning to sport facility operators Monday saying they are breaching the law by requiring parents and kids 12 and over to show their vaccine status.

A constitutional lawyer for 10 years with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, From is now in private practice at an Airdrie law firm.

From was retained by a group of parents who have kids enrolled in youth sports programs in Calgary and the surrounding area.

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

REP allows businesses to either choose to operate as usual if they implement a vaccine passport program or limit their attendance to one-third of their fire code capacity and abide by a number of other public health restrictions.

“Youth sports are supposed to be out of scope for these mandates according to the latest public health order,” From said in an interview with the Western Standard.

Last Thursday, public health order #43-2021 was rescinded due to “bad faith behaviour on the part of businesses offering youth activities and rogue municipal governments seeking to increase and stiffen the restrictions enacted by the Government of Alberta,” From states in the letter.

In its place, order #45-2021 was enacted making it clear that youth activities are out of the scope of REP.  

“This means that facilities that house youth sports are not allowed to use (vaccine) passports. They have to opt out of the passport program,” From said.

However, Calgary city council passed a bylaw that came into effect September 23 forcing businesses eligible for the REP to participate without choice including recreation facilities.

Calgary bylaw 65M2021 says “any person aged 12 years and older must show identification and either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or a medical exemption from vaccine letter.”

“With (Mayor Naheed) Nenshi running interference on this issue, a lot of people were turned away from a number of facilities over the weekend,” From said.

“Essentially, they (city council) have left no one any choice in the municipality of Calgary including hockey rinks, even though it falls out of scope according to the province. Now a bunch of other surrounding communities are falling in line.”  

The legal letter demands these facilities stop enforcing any REP-related restrictions associated with youth physical, performance or recreational activities, and begin to follow the clear direction set out by the Alberta government regarding what falls in and out of scope for the REP.

“Youth physical activity, performance activity and recreational activity, where all participants are under the age of 18” is listed as outside of the purview of REP. This means that REP is not available for implementation in association with such activities,” the letter states.

“Thousands of parents are ready to have this fight for their kids across the province,” From said.

“If the letters aren’t enough to change the course for these facilities, we will start suing rinks and even the city (Calgary).”

From said he was sending the letter to Nenshi and Calgary council Monday.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: Pawlowski arrested at Calgary airport

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

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Controversial Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski is back behind bars again.

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

He had been out of the country for four months.

Details on why he was taken into custody haven’t been revealed.

Pawlowski has been repeatedly ticketed and jailed for breaking provincial COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

He has recently been on a speaking tour in the US.

more to come…

source: streetchurch facebook

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Norway goes back to life as usual before COVID

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-related domestic restrictions.

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Norway lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions this weekend in an effort to return to normal.

“Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” said Erna Solberg, Norways’s prime minister at a press conference.

Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants which saw throngs of people heading to their favourite hangouts en masse.

Saturday marked the first time capacity limits were lifted in bars and restaurants in more than 500 days. Revellers young and old took to the streets with rowdy celebrations.

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a small but growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-19-related domestic restrictions. Sports venues, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be permitted to return to full capacity and will no longer require social distancing or masking.

According to the Institute of Public Health, Norwegian vaccination rates sit around 76% for one dose and 67% are considered fully vaccinated.

Solberg still encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and said those who contract COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate to avoid transmission.

“Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over,” Solberg said.

Although some restrictions will remain in place for those arriving in Norway from countries with higher rates of infection, travel restrictions will also be lifted, the government said.

“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all corona virus restrictions on September 10.

“The vaccines and the great efforts of all of Denmark’s citizens over such a long period are the foundation for why we are going strong,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter just before the country opened up.

After seeing nearly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated and experiencing low rates of infection and death in August, the Danish Health Authority declared the virus is “no longer a critical threat to society.”

Britain lifted much of its COVID-19-related restrictions over the summer.

As of September 23, more than 48 million people in the UK have received their fist does – 89% of those over 16 years old. A total 82% of the population or 44 million people 16 and older have been double jabbed.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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