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

Trevor Davis, base manager of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation in Sidney, stands in front of the Hecate Sentinal, an oil skimming vessel based at Sidney’s Van Isle Marina. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Oil spill response base taking shape on Saanich Peninsula

Enhanced base with elements in North Saanich and Sidney to be fully operational in fall 2022

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement forecasting windy weather Sunday and Monday. (News Bulletin file photo)
More windy weather on the way for Vancouver Island

Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Victoria, east coast of Island, north Island

The O’Meara family – (left to right) Mari, Max, Adam and Rei – spent Saturday afternoon picking out the perfect tree. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Santa’s Forest tree sale in Saanich implements one-way perusing, curbside pick up

Christmas tree, wreath sales in Braefoot Park through Dec. 24

(Black Press Media file)
Webinars help Greater Victoria residents affected by dementia prepare for the holidays

COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions can add additional challenges for people living with dementia

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read