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

Port Hardy RCMP looking for volunteers who are interested in public safety

“The volunteer program will include community and crime prevention programs”

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Tri-Port Midget Wild finish season with gold medal performance

The other teams were no match for the Tri-Port girls.

Chief Administrative Officer officially appointed in Port McNeill

“Pete brings with him 17 years of municipal experience.”

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher premiums, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Gallery of hockey stars

Lucky seven from the Cowichan Valley Memorial Midget C Tournament receive their awards

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read