Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke

Cows on pasture at the University of Vermont dairy farm eat hay Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Canadian dairy farmers are demanding compensation from the government because of losses to their industry they say have been caused by a series of international trade deals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Lisa Rathke

Trudeau says dairy farmers facing new losses due to CUSMA will be compensated

Trudeau made the comment in response to a demand by Canadian dairy farmers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he is committed to honouring past promises to compensate dairy farmers who have suffered losses due to trade deals.

Trudeau made the comment in response to a demand by Canadian dairy farmers for compensation from the government because of losses they say have been caused by a series of agreements that have subjected them to more competition.

Dairy Farmers of Canada representatives say they have received a multi-year commitment for $1.75 billion in compensation from the government for losses they have incurred due to Canada’s trade deals with Europe and with Pacific Rim countries.

But they have yet to be compensated for a third trade deal: the new North American trade pact with the United States and Mexico that came into force July 1.

Trudeau said his government is working with dairy farmers to compensate them for the recent Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement, or CUSMA, that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“We are right now working with dairy farmers and others on compensation for NAFTA,” Trudeau said.

“We recognize how many families and communities have been hit hard by this pandemic and we will always be there to support people, including with compensations that we have long promised and will deliver.”

The Dairy Farmers say that by 2024 trade concessions will mean that 18 per cent of domestic milk will be outsourced to foreign dairy farmers.

“When the pandemic started here in Canada, we were very careful not to be pushing hard. We knew that the government had their hands full in trying to deal with the pandemic to ensure that Canadians were well-looked-after,” said David Wiens, the vice-president of the organization.

“It’s eight months later, and we’re saying, you know, those commitments were made.”

Access to Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector was a thorny issue during the negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe that went into force in 2017, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that took effect in 2018 and the recent CUSMA.

Wiens said the dairy farmers received their first instalment of compensation payments last year for CETA and CPTPP. But it wants the government to set up a schedule to start payments to compensate for losses due to CUSMA.

“Without the compensation that has been promised to us, dairy farmers may have to postpone or forego investments, which will have serious consequences for rural communities across the country,” he said.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Dairy FarmersJustin TrudeauNAFTA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Desert Sun would like to house a winter shelter in the Oliver United Church. They are seeking a three year contract. (Google View)
Virtual meeting for Oliver winter shelter is tonight

Public invited to join Zoom meeting, ask questions

Penticton Secondary School has been added to the list of school exposures to COVID-19 by Interior Health. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
BREAKING: COVID-19 at Pen-Hi

Pen Hi is the third school this week to have COVID exposures

(Google Maps)
Osoyoos Credit Union staff member tests positive for COVID-19

The credit union made the announcement Dec. 1

Elkhart Gas Station, located on Highway 97C about 60 kilometres west of Peachland, opened in November 2020. (Google maps)
The Okanagan Connector now has a gas station

The highway previously ran for over 117 kilometres without a place to fuel up

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Access to a Bastion Road property in Sunnybrae was blocked with officers on scene on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (File photo)
Report clears RCMP actions that led to fatal shooting of Shuswap suspect

Independent Investigations Office of BC releases findings on Jan. 7 incident in Tappen

Vermilion Court has operated as the town's only assisted-living facility since for 16 years. Spotlight file photo
Princeton seniors complex eliminating services beginning this week

Funding for Vermilion Court, as promised by the NDP during the election, has yet to come through

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

A dirt bike crash on May 18 left Kelowna’s Steven Margetts paralyzed and without work. (GoFundMe)
Kelowna man paralyzed in dirt bike crash makes plea for help

GoFundMe launched for Steven Margetts, who shares a harrowing recap of his life-changing crash

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Highway 97 traffic was impacted by a crash in Lake Country Thursday morning. (DriveBC map)
UPDATE: Highway 97 cleared near Lake Country following crash

Vehicle incident between Vernon and Kelowna

Most Read