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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you.
Mr. Vermeer, I know we heard earlier from my Liberal colleague, Mr. Arya, that Canadians are paying high prices for milk. I think the evidence suggests otherwise, that Canadians pay a fair market price for their milk. The difference is that we're able to support our producers doing it, and where other people are paying comparable prices, they're not necessarily able to support an industry in the way that Canada has been able to do.
He also talked about opening up export markets. What I find odd, if you take milk, for example, is that the world has a number of countries with systems that produce massive quantities of milk, to the point where, in some cases, producers can't stay in business. I understand that for Canada, where we're particularly good at growing grain, for instance, that's a natural export market, because Canadians aren't going to eat enough grain to keep grain producers in business. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the model doesn't work for milk. If everybody becomes a massive milk exporter, then we're not going to be able to sustain producers and people aren't going to be able to make a buck.
It seems to me that there's something wrong with the free trade model we're trying to push across the world, which says that everybody should be overproducing and bringing the price down to the point where the producer can't make a buck. What does the future of the industry look like if the idea is that everybody is supposed to become a low-cost exporter instead of producing to meet demand?
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