Friday, March 10, 2017

Politicians Against Supply Management

I wasn't sure if it would happen in my lifetime, but there are a growing number of politicians who are against Supply Management ("SM").

I suggest all Small Flockers, friends, and SM abolitionists should get a $15 membership in CPC and vote for Maxime Bernier.  Here is why:

Maxime Bernier is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.  He has come out as unequivocally against SM.

In a Financial Post Op-Ed piece, Maxime explained that:
 "...Article 117 of the Conservative Party Policy Declaration affirms the party’s official support for supply management. As an MP and minister in a government that supported supply management, I was not in a position to question the party’s democratic decision, or cabinet solidarity. And so I went along with it like all my colleagues, even though I had grave misgivings about it for all these years."
He recently told the growing lobby of farmers rising up against him that he won't change his mind.

The Liberals won't change their mind either, as Ag. Minister MacAulay said on Feb. 6, 2017 in the House.  It was the Liberals who originally saddled Canadian with this SM mess.  From Confederation to the 1970’s, Canadian farmers suffered under the unfair predatory business practices of large agri-food companies, both domestic and international, while opposing lobbyists fought for the hearts and minds of procrastinating politicians.  After a growing number of unbearable crises, Bill C-176 was proposed by the Liberal government as a solution, but it became the longest debated piece of legislation in the history of Canada. In the end, two all-night sessions of parliament and a last minute amendment finally resulted in passing the bill at 6:40 AM on Dec. 31, 1971, creating Supply Management (“SM”).  SM was designed to protect Canadian farmers from predatory business practices, and end boom & bust cycles.  Unfortunately, SM has done the exact opposite.

Of course, I have tried to lend Max a hand, here, and here

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney came out 2 years ago against SM, suggesting a generous compensation package for SM farmers when it is abolished. Mulroney repeated his rally call against SM in a keynote speech on Feb. 2, 2017 in Edmonton AB.

My comment on Maxime and his anti-SM position was deleted by the censors at the Ottawa Citizen.  Here it is:
Truly, a rare bird; a politician who is against Canada's Supply Management (SM") System.  A few years ago, SM lobbyists helped arrange an unanimous vote of support in the House of Commons.  A chilling example of the power of the SM minority.

Canada's Supply Management System for chicken, turkey, eggs, and dairy is a dysfunctional, inefficient, ineffective, and mediocre tyranny imposed on 35 million Canadians by just 17,000 farmers, their paid lobbyists, and political friends.  The 17,000 SM farmers who "own" the Supply Management system are all multi-millionaires.  They became multi-millionaires by stealing away the rights and freedoms of consumers and all other non-SM farmers.

I am a Small Flock Poultry farmer (ie. I'm a non-quota, non-SM chicken farmer).  The 60,000 or so small flock poultry farmers in Canada is one group that suffers under the despotic control of the SM system for chicken, so that 2,700 SM chicken farmers (just 4.3% of all chicken farmers in Canada) can rule the roost.  I call it "Chicken Apartheid".  See our Blog for the scary details.

Under SM, Chicken Apartheid has been in Canada for more than 4 decades. SM lobbyists and their propaganda press releases say SM "protects" Canada’s family farms. However, the truth is opposite of what SM lobbyists claim.  For example, from 1966-2011 (the full reign of SM for chicken), 88% of Canada's chicken farms have disappeared. The SM chicken farms that are still here are now huge CAFO chicken factories owned by multi-millionaires.  Similarly sad statistics exist for the other 3 tentacles of the SM beast (ie. dairy, eggs, and turkey).

SM farms (dairy, chicken, turkey, eggs) are just 8% of all Canadian farms, but SM farmers are the best paid of all Canadian farmers, earning 21% more than non-SM farmers. SM farmers and their deep pockets unfairly compete against all non-SM farmers for the same limited resources in farming (eg. farmland, tractors, animal feeds, Vets, Ag. specialists, etc.).

SM is bad for all non-SM farmers.  SM is also bad for Canadian consumers.

In Dec. 2015, the Food Institute at the University of Guelph announced that food inflation in Canada is the highest in the world, topping 4.1% in 2015. It will be more of the same for the near future.  While all food prices are on the rise, the SM commodities (ie. chicken, turkey, eggs, and all dairy products) are 37% to 300% more expensive in Canada than the prices paid by most of the Western world.  The price gouging of Canadian consumers is designed into the SM system.

For example, for someone earning Ontario Minimum Wage between 1995 and 2005, the affordability of chicken dropped 31.7%.  Since chicken has historically been the cheapest meat available, if you can't afford chicken, you are forced to become a vegetarian.

Health Canada reports that 7.6% of Canadians can't afford the food they need to feed their families.  In the North, rural areas, and on First Nation reserves, as many as 63% of families have food insecurity.  For example, in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut a whole chicken sells for $80 to $90, 4 to 5 times the price paid in Toronto ON, making chicken unaffordable by most families.

Two thirds of Canadian deaths are caused or contributed to by poor diets or poor nutrition.  Getting rid of SM will help make better, more nutritious foods more affordable for all Canadians.

Now is the time to get rid of SM, before we have food riots, mass starvation, or rising epidemics of sickness.

Glenn Black, President
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada
 We will see in time if the censors at the Montreal Gazette are just as ruthless.

Our local newspaper was also concerned about the growing controversy on SM, and wrote an editorial in support of SM.  I countered with a Letter to the Editor

Max has SM farmers organizing against him by buying up memberships in all PC ridings across Canada so as to ensure Maxime doesn't win the CPC nomination.

If Canadians stay asleep throughout this leadership race, the organized SM farmers will exert an overwhelming influence, far more than they should, crushing Maxime.  All politicians of all stripes will learns an infamous lesson that going against the SM lobby is suicide.  If the SM farmers are allowed to buy the continuation of their multi-billion dollar SM boondoggle at $15 per membership, it is Canada and all Canadians who will lose.  Nobody will make that same mistake for many more decades.

You have until 5:00 PM EDST on March 28, 2017 to spend $15.00 to become a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.  The ranked ballot secret vote will be held on May 27, 2017 for all party members.

Today, SFPFC has endorsed Maxime.  Personally, I have become a member of CPC.  I intend to vote as a 1-issue candidate for Maxime.  I ask all Small Flockers and their friends to do likewise.