Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chicken agency dodged a bullet

Supply management dodged a bullet during the Conservative Party’s convention in Calgary last year.

According to an account by Chicken Farmers of Canada, on page 39 of its annual report, this is what happened:

"Chicken Farmers of Canada chairman Dave Janzen and staff attended the 2013 Conservative Policy Convention held in Calgary from October 31st to November 2nd.

“A contentious policy motion on supply management was brought forward in the economic policy session by the Electoral District Associations of Medicine Hat, Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, Calgary Southeast, and Calgary—Nose Hill. 

“It recommended a change in wording (and policy) that would move Conservative Party support away from supply management and towards a transition to something new.

“The motion was opposed by the Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz, and a group of Ontario MPs, including Gary Schellenberger. 

“Minister Ritz was the first to speak and came out very strongly against the motion. 

“He defended supply management and stated that it does not stifle innovation, is not a barrier to trade, and is not responsible for inflated prices. 

“Many other MPs also spoke in support of supply management and voted against the motion, including the Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast. 

“In the end, the motion was voted down 182 to 42, dying in the economic session before it could make it to the Policy Plenary Floor."

So how many other bald-faced lies has Ritz told? Supply management obviously stifles innovation. Take a look at the lack of innovation to develop specialty markets for chicken in Ontario.

It is a barrier to trade. Take a look at any number of complaints from the United States, Australia and many other nations about Canada's supply management system being a barrier to trade.

It is obviously responsible for inflated prices. Supply management's whole reason for existing is to inflate prices farmers can charge.

But the really scary thing is that Ritz may be dumb enough to believe what he said.