Thursday, February 28, 2013

Petition the People

Chicken Farmers of Ontario ("CFO") have been around for 48 years.  We are told that it takes 20,000 work hours to reach world-class skill and perfection.  At that rate, CFO should not be just the best Supply Management Board on Planet Earth, they should have mastered half way to Pluto by now.

However, Should and Actual are two different things.

CFO has made some changes over the years, and probably will make some other minor changes here and there if it is in their best interest to do so.

However, expecting CFO to make changes that are not in their best interest is not facing reality.

To get truly fundamental change, I believe CFO will require being forced to change.

Who has the power to force CFO to change?

Under Section 95 the Canadian Constitution the Federal Government has Canada-wide authority in agriculture, and Ontario can pass additional laws in agriculture provided it doesn't conflict with the Federal laws.  That's how we got Canada-wide Supply Management in the first place back in 1965.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food has the authority to issue a Directive to the Farm Products Marketing Commission (FPMC) who watches over all the local Supply Management Boards (milk, eggs, and chicken).

The OMAF Tribunal can be asked to clarify or intercede when someone complains about the legality of some decision, rule, by-law, or regulation.

The local Board themselves could decide, or recommend, some changes to their system.

Finally, last and least powerful of all, the quota-bearing chick producers themselves could see the writing on the wall, feel the growing unease in the public, the increase in the press and blog traffic discussing chicken quota.  The following graph shows the Google Trends for the search term "chicken quota".  No other country in the world had any interest in this unique and highly specialized topic.  All of the searches were concerned with and geographically located in Ontario.  Perhaps that is why Premier Wynne took on the OMAF portfolio, for by making some small, key changes as OMAF's Minister and the Premier, she can save Ontario and her neck as Premier; two for the price of one.

If only we could get a deal like that on chicken in the grocery store.

The initial spike in Google searches for "chicken quota" was in July 2009.   In May 2010, the issue returned and has been of steady interest ever since.  Note that I started my campaign in Jan. 2011, so I wasn't the first, but I was in there early.

While "chicken quota" is getting hotter, "milk marketing board" was white hot in 2004, and has slowly cooled to a red hot topic in comparison to chicken.  Together, they will intensify the heat by their synergy.  Which of these, alone or together, will be the fuse that lights the powder keg?

So here it is, my next contribution to the on-going discussion on CFO and the Ontario chicken quota.  A petition all set for signatures by the people of Ontario.  Print off a copy, stick it up on your office bulletin board, pop one into the local grocery store and the place where you buy your gas.

Yesterday, I took a copy of my petition into my local coffee shop to see what everybody would say.  There were about 15 people there. I asked them to sign my petition.  They all took a look at my petition.  There were some preliminary discussions, but nobody signed.  If the people of Ontario are so numb and jaded by the constant beatings they have received, they may be unable to strike while the iron is hot.

Therefore, we may have to wait a little longer than I hoped.

I'm prepared that this may be a very long struggle before we get satisfaction.  Everybody might as well take their shoes off and get comfortable.

For those who saw the light long before me, don't give up.  I'm coming.  I'm bringing help with me. You can't do it alone, and neither can I.   I need everybody's help.  If we are true to our cause, and we have the stamina to keep constant pressure on the key points, eventually we will succeed, for our cause is just.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "It is better to suffer the injustice than to cause an injustice suffered by others".  So we suffer and we wait.

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