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Results: 1 - 15 of 17
View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-06-10 18:16
I have about 30 seconds, Minister Bibeau. The piece around the Canadian Dairy Commission is not in the estimates. This is huge in my riding. We have the most supply-managed farms east of Quebec. The $200 million for the Dairy Commission is not in the estimates. I'm not an accountant, maybe that's for good reason, but can you explain how influential that program is and perhaps elaborate on that?
View Marie-Claude Bibeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
This is very important for Canadian dairy producers. With the supply management system, they have the capacity to organize themselves to manage their supply better, and we have improved it.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Another announcement was made today. Within the Fromagerie St-Albert Co-op, there are members who are dairy producers. In fact, there is a large community of dairy farmers in my riding. As we have seen in the media, both in Canada and in the United States, it is not their fault if they have to throw away part of their production. You cannot stop a cow from producing milk, and unfortunately, you have to milk it every day. The role of the Canadian Dairy Commission includes buying butter and cheese. You mentioned that in your comments.
Why was a credit limit increase included in today's announcement?
Chris Forbes
View Chris Forbes Profile
Chris Forbes
2020-05-05 17:43
The amount of credit provided to the Canadian Dairy Commission allows it to purchase more milk. The surplus milk production issue is solved by processing milk into butter and cheese. The markets are not ready for these quantities. So the commission will be able to buy some of this butter and cheese from the processors and keep it for a given period of time. The increase in the commission's credit limit will help it to keep larger volumes.
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Seppey, decisions mustn't be made in two weeks when these analyses haven't been completed. It's important to take into consideration the requests of the industry, which has already suffered a great deal in recent years because of the significant losses resulting from various international treaties. I think that this is fundamental.
Lastly, I want to point out that the Canadian Dairy Commission is talking about increasing credit capacity. We're very pleased about this. The Bloc had suggested this increase. Do we know how much or to what extent the credit rating will be increased?
View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-05-05 18:02
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm pleased to be joining my colleagues from across the country this evening to discuss the concerns of Canada's agricultural sector and the opportunities available to the sector. Like the other members, I want to thank the House of Commons employees for their work on the virtual meeting of this committee.
I'm going to start by saying that in Kings—Hants we have the largest concentration of agricultural producers east of Montreal, including the most supply-managed farms. I'm very interested in today's announcement about the $200 million to the Canadian Dairy Commission.
Perhaps, Mr. Forbes, you could quickly speak to what this program entails and what it means for the dairy industry and the legislative process.
Frédéric Seppey
View Frédéric Seppey Profile
Frédéric Seppey
2020-05-05 18:03
Yes, thank you.
This increase of the limit of the ability to borrow from the Canadian Dairy Commission from $300 million to $500 million would allow it to implement programs that it has put in place and agreed to with the dairy marketing boards in the various provinces—so the producers—to use that money to purchase more cheese on a temporary basis. We have a surplus of milk. As Mr. Drouin said earlier, a cow produces more milk at this time of the year, more than usual. That capacity will allow the CDC to purchase cheese from the processors who will use the milk that is in surplus to produce this cheese. Then they can put it in storage so that it can be sold back to the processors when the market is able to absorb that additional amount of cheese.
It's a very useful mechanism policy that balances the supply and demand of the system. This is a stabilization mechanism that the dairy farmers and the dairy processors are really counting on in this difficult period.
View Kody Blois Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Kody Blois Profile
2020-05-05 18:05
It's certainly great to hear.
This type of investment is historic. We're in unprecedented times, but I have to assume that, in the history of the Canadian Dairy Commission, we haven't seen this type of initiative, assuming we can get parliamentary approval.
Frédéric Seppey
View Frédéric Seppey Profile
Frédéric Seppey
2020-05-05 18:05
Yes, that's correct. The situation right now is exceptional. It's in very rare circumstances that dairy farmers would be forced to dump milk. They always want to find a home for their milk.
CDC's increased borrowing capacity will allow them to manage the system temporarily. It requires a legislative amendment, but the government has indicated that it would work closely with all parties to make sure that these changes can be implemented as quickly as possible.
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
My question is for our friends, the processors from Quebec.
You formulated a proposal to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission's borrowing capacity, which would have allowed it, and would still allow it, to reduce the amount of product it's throwing away. Could you tell us about that proposal and why it wasn't acted on? Is the idea still relevant today?
Gilles Froment
View Gilles Froment Profile
Gilles Froment
2020-05-04 19:49
The reason we think the Canadian Dairy Commission's borrowing capacity should be increased is that it would allow more products to be stored. That's still relevant today. From what we understand, the Department of Finance is still studying the matter.
But the situation has evolved over the past few weeks. Before, we had a milk surplus, but now we've been able to find a balance. It's extremely difficult to predict how things will unfold over the coming weeks. Like everyone here, we're facing tremendous uncertainty.
Mr. Benoit mentioned the mismatch between the supply and the decline in demand that we've been grappling with in the food service industry. Since milk is a highly perishable product, we can't wait a week or two before processing it. It has to be processed within a few hours, so we're doing our best to accept all the milk that's being produced and process it.
However, once the milk is processed, we face longer-term risks, because we don't know how long it will take to sell off that inventory. Earlier we talked about food services and restaurants still being closed. We don't know when they'll reopen or how much demand there will be for our products, so the level of uncertainty about the coming weeks and months is very high.
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Since a balance has been reached and there's no more surplus, does that mean the proposal is superfluous now, or is it still relevant today?
Gilles Froment
View Gilles Froment Profile
Gilles Froment
2020-05-04 19:51
I think it's still relevant, because it could give us additional flexibility at a time of uncertainty that will linger for months to come.
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Why do you think your proposal wasn't implemented? You made this suggestion a while ago. Were you given any reasons for not implementing it right away?
Gilles Froment
View Gilles Froment Profile
Gilles Froment
2020-05-04 19:51
From what I understand, it's a regulatory process, so it would require an amendment to the Canadian Dairy Commission Act.
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