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

30 degrees and warmer forecasted with heat wave in B.C.

The weather could stay well into next week, according to Environment Canada

First meeting of Columbia River Treaty talks went well, minister says

Two-day meeting in U.S. capital in May set out values and goals

The only firestorm in Trail was on social media

Power outage set off alarms at Teck Trail; company says no fire or flooding

Tenacious Rossland seniors save historic building

Work began last week on restoring the brick facade to the old BCTel building

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former Penticton Vee recovering in hospital

Pittsburgh Penguin prospect expected to make full recovery

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

QB Jennings leads Lions to 22-10 win over Alouettes

B.C. wins CFL home opener over Montreal

Most Read