"We're talking about a few billion dollars for thousands of producers. Distributing that isn't a simple task," said the Federal Agriculture Minister.
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Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons, Monday April 29, 2019 in Ottawa. The Liberal government is launching a new three-year immigration pilot that aims to help fill labour shortages within Canada's agri-food sector. ADRIAN WYLD / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Quebec is getting impatient as dairy, poultry and egg farmers have to wait before being compensated by Ottawa for the losses incurred by entering into trade agreements.
Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau admits the compensation mechanism for producers under supply management is more complex than anticipated to accomodate the needs of different groups.
Some groups want direct compensation, whereas others want investment programs, Bibeau said.
The most recent federal budget allocated $3.9 billion for agricultural producers. Bibeau said the money will be distributed. “We’re talking about a few billion dollars for thousands of producers. Distributing that isn’t a simple task,” she said.
The plan is still to announce the amounts by the end of the Trudeau government’s mandate, before the election campaign.
Quebec agriculture minister André Lamontagne said he brought up the issue at the annual meeting between federal, provincial and territorial ministers held in Quebec City.
In a press release, Lamontagne said “dairy producers, among others, have been patient,” and reaffirmed “the importance of making known, without further delay, the terms and conditions of financial compensation to producers.”
Meanwhile, Lamontagne is also calling on Ottawa to take “significant support measures” for pork and beef producers and processors, should the trade dispute with China continue.
China blocked Canadian meat exports to its territory in late June, after the discovery of dozens of fake pork export certifications.
Bibeau defended her officials’ approach, which is to demonstrate the quality of products here and the strictness of the Canadian inspection system.
She said Canada and China have “very regular discussions” about this, but there is no reason to incur tenser 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.
The relationship between Ottawa and Beijing has deteriorated since December, when Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou was arrested on Canadian soil. The arrest was made at the request of the United States, who wanted to bring him to justice for fraud.
Shortly after, China arrested two Canadians suspected of espionage. Canada has been trying to pressure China to release them for several months.

Wisconsin dairy farmers are reporting notifications from some cooperatives and milk buyers that new ‘market adjustments’ will be deducted from their milk checks.

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