NAFTA and our dairy industry are under attack by our neighbours to the south. The Lethbridge Herald’s front-page article on Sept. 25 tells us how the U.S. wants to get rid of our milk quota system. By: Esa Salonen, Pincher Creek
It tells us of a massive trade ratio imbalance of five-to-one in favour of the American dairy producers exporting into Canada.
I couldn’t help but laugh at Americans wanting to protect our consumers from needing to pay high prices on dairy products by eliminating our dairy marketing board.
Two years ago, I saw a program called Northwest Profile on KSPS that featured a large dairy farmer along the Columbia River who has a herd of 10,000 dairy cows. The cattle live outside all year long and are milked automatically by just walking up to a machine that cleans them and milks them. Please explain how anyone in this country could compete with that?
The same article mentioned that the great Stephen Harper was willing to allow a 3.25 per cent increase in imports of foreign dairy products. Harper was also willing to compensate our dairy industry for their loss of income by giving them billions of dollars. If a 3.25 per cent loss of our domestic market is worth billions, how much more will it cost if half or more is lost to imports?
Where will this compensation money come from because someone has to pay for it?
I was in Smith Falls, Ont., this summer, and was told their main industry had closed down and moved to the USA where a night shift was put in to supply our Canadian market. Hershey Chocolate Factory laid off 6,000 workers in Smith Falls and closed its doors.
As Halloween is coming, look at all the candies and chocolates, and you will not see many that are made in Canada. What you will see on the package is “Made in USA” or “Imported.” If an item is made in Canada it will only indicate where the plant or head office is. We do not want our dairy industry being lost because someone wants to save us from high milk prices. If there is a problem in our dairy industry, it is our problem and it is ours alone to solve, and we do not need others dumping their excess milk on us.
Source: The Lethbridge Herald