M-496: Support our dairy and cheese producers

Motion adopted unanimously in the House of Commons on June 18th, 2014

In October 2013, Canada and Europe reached an agreement in principle for the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). New Democrats will support an agreement with Europe that takes Canada’s interests into account—an agreement that enables us to increase our exports and trade opportunities without compromising our government’s ability to defend the interests of Canadians and protect the public.

However, we have some concerns about CETA’s potential impact on the dairy and cheese industry in Quebec and across Canada. That is why I introduced a motion to force the government to keep its promise to Canada’s dairy and cheese producers.

// M-496: That, in the opinion of the House, the government should respect its promise to dairy and cheese producers of Quebec and Canada who will be affected by the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, by: (a) revealing details without delay related to the compensation that will be paid; (b) providing for an implementation period for the agreement that is as long as possible; (c) putting an end to the circumvention of tariff quotas and the misclassification of products at the border; (d) maintaining high quality standards by imposing the same production and processing requirements on imported products; and (e) committing to provide support for commercialization.

My motion would mitigate CETA’s impact on the dairy and cheese sector and support Canada’s supply management system, which guarantees fair and stable prices.

By the numbers:

  • Canada produces more than 1050 cheeses that are listed in the Canadian Cheese Directory.
  • We produce 133, 270 tonnes of specialty cheese.
  • Canada has 12,746 dairy farms.
  • The additional 17,700 tonnes of access for European cheese allowed under CETA is equivalent to a 2.25% reduction in farm quota, which could lead to a loss of close to $150 million in farm income annually.
  •  If the agreement is signed, the government will have given Europe additional exclusive access to about 32% of Canada’s existing specialty cheese market, on top of its current access.

 Support our dairy and cheese producers and sign the petition!