From Peter O’Neil in the National Post:
“OTTAWA — Farms in the heavily protected dairy, poultry and egg sectors, concentrated primarily in Central Canada, are far more likely than those in other sectors to be high-priced operations owned by corporations, according to an internal 2011 analysis done by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s department.
The figures were assembled last November as senior officials in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scrambled to respond to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s announcement that Canada will put the controversial supply management system on the table as a price to enter the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade negotiations. Continue reading
From Martha Hall Findlay, in the Globe and Mail:
“Despite a professed commitment to free trade, Canada has retained a staunchly protectionist supply management regime in several agricultural sectors, notably the dairy industry. It harms our trade options. Domestically, it also costs consumers far too much.
Dairy farms are governed by a byzantine system that prices milk based on intended usage, locks out most foreign products with exorbitantly high tariffs and even determines how much farmers can produce. Everyone suffers. First in the line of people harmed by supply management are consumers – Canadians are forced to pay two to three times as much for whole milk as Americans. Continue reading
From Jim Algie, in the Owen Sound Sun Times:
“It’s worth noticing that Grey County farm policy reformer Sean McGivern prefers to talk these days about a “readjustment” in agricultural supply management.
Considering the direction from which he has come, the Desboro-based founder of a proposed new general farm organization could be talking instead about scrapping the controversial Canadian system for controlling farm production of some commodities.
An energetic, entrepreneurial, organic farmer who has run up against the system’s production limitations personally, McGivern might have joined the chorus of high profile non-farm commentators seeking to dismantle supply management. Continue reading
“Why you can’t find heritage poultry” by MARK SCHATZKER in the Globe and Mail:
Two chicken inspectors showed up at a farm in Southern Ontario not long ago. They flashed badges and inspected the premises and, sure enough, they found what they were looking for: chickens. About 100 of them, wandering across open pastures, pecking at bugs, worms and blades of grass.
The inspectors quickly put a stop to all that. They told the farmer to get rid of his chickens or face the consequences. Then they visited other nearby farms, issuing threats of fines (up to $10,000 a day), and leaving more than one Amish farm wife in tears. Continue reading
From the staff at Better Farming:
“What is Ontario’s agriculture industry’s top story for 2010 and who is its top newsmaker? Have your say.
And we thought 2010 was a busy year in Ontario agriculture. That’s before we experienced 2011’s two elections, a soggy spring and the introductions of a risk management plan to protect against market fluctuations as well as a proposal for a mega quarry in Dufferin County’s Melancthon township. Continue reading
From Barrie McKenna in the Globe and Mail:
“Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says he’s all about putting “farmers first.”
At first blush, this sounds like a pretty reasonable motto for an ag minister raised on a Saskatchewan farm. Who doesn’t like farmers, after all? They do tough, essential work that feeds us all.
The catch is that “farmers first” often implies “consumers last.” And what Mr. Ritz really means is that some farmers come first, but not all farmers. Continue reading
Michael Schmidt, with Mark Tijssen and former Landowner Association president Jack McLaren
Michael Schmidt’s introduction:
This is an interesting and not really surprising development. Allan Ryan was also there the lawyer arguing on the behalf of the MNR. What is also interesting that in this case no powerful lobby group pushing for punishment at all cost is in the background. Pork is not supply managed. The waste of energy, the waste of time, the waste of resources is appalling to say the least. Continue reading