NDP Stands Up For Supply Management
June 6th, 2018 - 1:00pm
Mr. Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals continually claim that they fully support our supply managed sectors, but Canadians are having a hard time believing it. First, the Liberals signed CETA, which created a breach. Then they signed the CPTPP, which threatens to blow the sector wide open, and on Sunday the Prime Minister said he is flexible to making concessions in these sectors as a part of NAFTA renegotiations. Which is it, because they cannot have it both ways? When will the Liberals stop compromising our supply managed system and actually support Canadian farmers?
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear on this. We have continued to support and are committed to maintaining the supply management system in this country. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and many cabinet ministers have indicated this. The negotiators at the NAFTA table have indicated this. It is important to note that it is the Liberal government that put supply management in place, and it is the Liberal government that will support supply management.
Ms. Karine Trudel (Jonquière, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister stated in an interview that he is flexible on the subject of dairy products, one of our supply managed sectors, in the NAFTA negotiations. The Canadian dairy product market would therefore be on the table in order to reach a deal.
The government cannot say it supports preserving supply management in its entirety here in the House and then enter into agreements that have negative effects on our communities, especially our dairy producers.
Can the government explain to our farmers what exactly this flexibility is all about?
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, once again, our government is firmly committed to defending supply management. We are the ones who created it, we believe in it, and we will protect it. In addition, to support our rural communities, we have invested $250 million for dairy producers and $100 million for dairy processors, funding that has already begun to be distributed throughout the regions.
We believe in supply management and we will continue to stand up for it.