Letters to the editor – for Jan. 5, 2009

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Exports are subsidized too

After reading the interview with CAFTA president Darcy Davis (Can Stockwell Day end supply management?, Dec. 1 2008)) I would like to respond.

The article suggests that of all Canadian farm gate receipts 80 per cent comes from export and only 20 per cent from supply-managed products. I would like to question these numbers, because of the so-called 80 per cent exports we use a lot of products domestically.

Mr Davis seems to think that the Canadian government treats the export sector unfairly compared to supply management. While the export sector has received significant financial assistance from the federal government over the years, the supply management sector has not. We have earned our dollar out of the marketplace where it is supposed to come from in the first place.

Mr Davis thinks if we eliminate supply management we would have a stronger position in the export market. One only has to look at the cattle industry and it is easy to understand that it is just not a realistic point of view. I fail to see how eliminating supply management would have changed anything for that industry in the past five or six years.

Personally I do not want to trade supply management for a market where the price of a product is set by either a couple of multinational corporations or foreign policy and the farmer has no control. I suggest that Mr Davis and people with similar agendas learn to better understand the principles and mechanics of supply management, instead of taking a one-sided lobbying approach that could potentially have a devastating impact on the incomes and livelihoods of thousands of Canadian farm families.

Concerned Dairy producer, Hans Philipsen. Acme, AB

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