Monday, December 30, 2013

Quebec’s dairy protection challenged

Quebec’s regulations designed to protect dairy farmers are under challenge from Saskatchewan with support from British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba. 

They are challenging regulations that protect dessert toppings and coffee whiteners from competition by substitutes made from vegetable oils.

A hearing is scheduled to begin Jan. 8 in Quebec City. Saskatchewan has filed its case under the pan-Canadian Agreement on Internal Trade.

Somebody ought to tell the chicken industry that the agreement has been found. A judge in Welland said in his decision earlier this month that lawyers arguing over whether the Ontario chicken board can continue to deny chickens for CAMI International Poultry could not find the agreement.

I'll bet the lawyers for the chicken board and Ontario chicken processors weren't trying very hard since they were involved in fashioning regulations to ban inter-provincial trade in live chickens between Ontario and Quebec.

Sean McPhee, president of the Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada, said oilseed producers support Saskatchewan's  trade challenge.
``Our members look forward to the time when vegetable oil-based alternatives to dairy products can be manufactured and sold in all parts of Canada,'' he said.

The Ontario has been silent on the dispute. I guess Premier and Agriculture Minister Kathleen Wynne figures that by keeping silent, she might not lose support from either soybean growers or dairy farmers.