Still no date for Ottawa offsets for dairy farmers
Dairy, poultry and egg farmers will have to wait a bit before being compensated by Ottawa for the losses incurred by entering into trade agreements. Meanwhile, Quebec is getting impatient.
The Federal Minister of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau, admits that the compensation mechanism for producers under supply management is more complex than anticipated to adapt to the needs of the different groups.
Some groups ask for direct compensation, while others want investment programs, she says.
The most recent federal budget provided $ 3.9 billion for agricultural producers. Ms. Bibeau says that she is still in the “mechanics”, but that the money will be well and truly paid. “We are talking about a few billion dollars to thousands of producers. Distributing that is not easy, “she says.
It is still planned to announce the amounts promised by the end of the Trudeau government’s mandate, but before the election campaign.
Quebec Agriculture Minister André Lamontagne says he raised the issue at the annual meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers held in Quebec City.
In a press release, Mr Lamontagne recalled that “dairy producers, among others, have been patient” and reaffirmed “the importance of making known, without further delay, the terms and conditions of payment of financial compensation to producers “.
In a statement, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) urged the federal government to honor its promise “to fully and fairly compensate dairy farmers for the negative impacts” of these agreements.
“When she spoke at the DFC Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon, Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau committed to providing the details of the compensation package before the end of the term. current federal government. In this regard, DFC expects the Minister to live up to her commitment, “said President Pierre Lampron.
Conflict in China worries
Minister Lamontagne also calls on Ottawa to take “significant support measures” for pork and beef producers and processors should the trade dispute with China continue.
Remember that China blocked Canadian meat exports to its territory in late June, after the discovery of dozens of fake pork export certifications.
Minister Bibeau defended the approach of her officials, which is to demonstrate the quality of products here and the rigor of the Canadian inspection system.
She assures that Canada and China have “very regular discussions” on this, but there is no question of incurring “more muscular interventions” even though the conflict has lasted for almost a month.
The situation would be “more difficult for Canadian canola”, which is also blocked by China for reasons deemed unjustified.
Relations between Ottawa and Beijing have deteriorated badly since December, when Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou was arrested on Canadian soil. This arrest was made at the request of the United States, who want to bring it to justice for fraud.
Shortly after, China arrested two Canadians suspected of espionage. Canada has been trying for several months to pressure China to release them.