NFU urges Trudeau to stand firm in the protection of Canadian supply management!

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June 14, 2018

Right Honorable Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario   K1A 0A6
justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

We understand that you are under enormous pressure to give up Canadian interests in the negotiations with the USA in order to reach a new NAFTA deal. President Trump is using highly unfair arguments, especially when he targets tariffs that protect Canadian supply management. The USA, like European countries, offers enormous price support programs to farmers in general and dairy farmers in particular. They do that in order to enable farmers to survive an extreme low world-market price for dairy, caused, among other factors, by the American and European dairy producers’ double-digit production increases.  Canadian farmers did not cause this glut — because they have production discipline they do not over produce. In Canada we don’t need a government subsidy program, as our supply management system rewards efficient dairy farmers sufficiently from the market place. A recent study by Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) and executed by AC Nielsen Canada, showed that dairy products in Canada are 17% less expensive than in the U.S.

We are in close contact with farm groups in the USA who are organizing to get supply management systems off the ground in their country.  After studying and understanding the benefits of the Canadian system, these farm groups are squarely opposing President Trump’s NAFTA demand for dairy concessions from Canada. They see supply management as the only way for American dairy farmers to survive.

It is paramount that the Canadian government protects supply management for farmers’ sake, as well as for consumers and the tax-payer. Impairing it would be costly for government in terms of creating bailout programs for farmers and Canadian consumers would pay likely higher prices for lower quality.

We urge you to stand firm in the protection of Canadian supply management.

Already other trade agreements have watered down protection for supply management. This needs to stop. Supply management is an economic backbone for rural Canada and it has proven to be an example that others want to emulate.

Please show leadership and stand firm.

Sincerely,

Jan Slomp,
Vice-President Policy, National Farmers Union

CC: Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister; Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Agriculture Minister

For more information:

To take action:

  • Make your views know to the Prime Minister and /or Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister and/or Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Agriculture Minister. Click on the their names for full contact information – email, phone, fax and snail mail
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PEI Lands Protection Act: Spirit and Letter

Saturday, March 3rd, 1-4 pm

Milton Community Hall

Cooper Institute’s annual Social Justice Symposium in honour of Father Andrew Macdonald aims to clarify the need for legislation to faithfully reflect the intent and purpose (the spirit) of an act in the form of enforceable laws (the letter). Recent spirit/letter work in the formation of the newly passed PEI Water Act will provide lessons to understand better what is happening to the PEI Lands Protection Act (LPA).

The interactive event will begin with a panel discussing the spirit and the letter of the Lands Protection Act, the history of PEI voices for the protection of land; how and why the Act is often misinterpreted; and the loopholes in the Act. Panellists are: Marie-Ann Bowman with Reg Phelan, Douglas Campbell, and Edith Ling. Event participants in discussion groups will share what they recognize as positive action to enhance the LPA role as protector of the land and what action Islanders can take to require government to strengthen the Act.

The symposium is held in memory of Father Andrew Macdonald, a founder of Cooper Institute and composer of the song “No! No! Don’t Sell PEI”. Tony Reddin will lead a rendition of that song. Internationally-acclaimed singer/song writer, Teresa Doyle will perform her own songs related to land protection.

There is no entry fee. Subsidies are available on request for travel and child/elder care. Refreshments will be served.

All land lovers are welcome. Register here.

NFU Presents to PEI Standing Committee on Communities, Land and the Environment

Regional Director Reg Phelan and District Director Doug Campbell appeared before the committee on November 2. They spoke about the ways in which the spirit and intent of PEI’s Lands Protection Act have been violated. As a result of their presentation, the Committee will ask for three entities  – Cavendish Farms, Vanco and the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute to appear before them to provide more detail on their transactions. You can read the entire presentation here.

Coverage in the Charlottetown Guardian can be found here.

And the CBC-PEI story is here.

Region One Annual Convention

The Region One annual convention was held on August 7 in Milton, Prince Edward Island. NFU members from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island enjoyed a full day of presentations and discussion – and a tasty meal provided by the team at the Milton Community Hall.

Ayla Fenton, National Youth Director, provided an overview of new farmers in Canada. There were reports from Regional Director, Reg Phelan, Youth Director, Philippe Gervais and Women’s Director, Shannon Jones.

Supply Management and the North American Free Trade Agreement (and its upcoming renegotiation) was the subject of a panel discussion, with Rosalind Waters of the PEI Trade Justice Network, Doug Thompson, Dairy Farmers of PEI, and Everett Baker representing labour/consumers. Chris and Mary Mermuys presented some detailed information about recent land acquisitions by off-Island investors. And Jean-Eudes Chiasson and Ayla Fenton gave a report on the recent meeting of La Via Campesina in the Basque Region of Spain.

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Ayla Fenton, National Youth Director

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Rosalind Waters of the PEI Trade Justice Network

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Jean-Eudes Chiasson and Ayla Fenton