Federal agriculture minister doesn’t close door on tweaking supply management

U.S. has made it clear it wants Canada’s control over price, supplies of dairy, eggs, chicken gone

When it comes to defending Canada’s supply management system from the trade demands of the Trump White House, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay is leaving the barn door open a crack.

The U.S. administration has made it clear it wants Canada’s system for controlling the price and supplies of dairy, eggs and chicken abolished — something MacAulay insists will not happen.

But when asked today whether there’s any room to negotiate on supply management, MacAulay was less unequivocal.

“Well of course what needs to happen is with any trade deal you have to find out exactly what is on the table, what the approach is,” said MacAulay.

“I’m not going to start negotiating NAFTA here in the public with the press, that would not be my role,” he said.

After the press conference, MacAulay’s office issued a statement clarifying his position.

“Our government strongly supports and is committed to maintaining Canada’s supply management system. It was a Liberal government that created supply management and we be tireless in defending it and standing up for the interests of Canadian farming families,” the statement reads.

“Canada’s trade negotiators as well as the prime minister, ministers and Liberal members of Parliament, have been clear about this since the current NAFTA talks began,” the statement continues.

At the press conference when pressed about what realistic changes Canada would consider, MacAulay would only repeat his insistence that the government would defend supply management.

“We are the government that will defend supply management. We have indicated that quite clearly. We’re fully united,” he said.

MacAulay also skirted around comments Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made in a U.S. television interview that Canada has “flexibility” on dairy.

“I am not at the table. But what you have to do is be careful. The truth is, there’s negotiations taking place. There’s a lot of things on the table. What we want to do, what we have indicated quite clearly and the prime minister has indicated quite clearly. The only NAFTA deal that we will sign is a deal that’s good for Canada,” said MacAulay.

He also played down the ongoing trade tensions between Canada and the U.S., saying there will always be “little problems” between countries.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘My friends aren’t going to sell me stuff to hurt me’: South Surrey overdose victim

SPECIAL REPORT: First in a two-part series on Peninsula families losing a loved one to fentanyl

Meyer makes mayoral run official

Three-term White Rock councillor says other coalition incumbents to seek return as councillors

‘Glam & Glitter’ ball, festival and more at Surrey Pride celebrations

Portland’s Caravan of Glam among performers from June 26 to 30

VIDEO: One-man protest against bank enters fourth week in Langley

Owner of hemp novelty store chain says he was turned down because of anti-marijuana attitude

Alleged shoplifting incident no longer of public interest, Crown finds

BC Prosecution Service explains legal process after South Surrey sting operation

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

School district plans to keep a list of unvaccinated children

New policy in Langley doesn’t require vaccinations but tracks children who don’t get immunized

B.C. ‘will be ready’ for marijuana legalization

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says some stores open by Oct. 17

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

UPDATED: Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

VIDEO: Pro and anti SOGI advocates protest outside Langley School Board office

Police were on hand but did not intervene except to ask both sides to keep the sidewalks clear.

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

Most Read

l -->