Monday, March 12, 2012
Canadians pay a lot more for many basic commodities because of marketing boards. As a move to decrease poverty and give kids more access to healthy foods. We need to get rid of the marketing boards. Let the free market work to reduce prices and poverty. It will allow Canada to join free trade zones that will add billions of dollars of trade. Is the Harper government willing to dismantle the supply management system that protects poultry and dairy farmers from competition? You should bet that it is. The Conservatives’ trade agenda requires it. Domestic politics permits it. And although Stephen Harper is keeping his own counsel on the issue, those watching Canada’s trade negotiations are convinced the Prime Minister will act when the time comes. There would be plenty of support – billions of dollars-worth – for farmers during a lengthy transition. But the end to protection from foreign imports for dairy and eggs appears inevitable. Diversifying trade is Mr. Harper’s highest priority. If this Conservative majority government is known for only one thing, the Prime Minister wants that one thing to be trade. This is why the Conservatives are putting so much emphasis on a free-trade agreement with Europe, why the government is working hard at concluding an agreement with India, why Mr. Harper has visited China twice in less than three years, why feelers are out to see if Japan or Thailand are interested. And it is why Canada is determined to get a seat at the table where the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being negotiated. This ambitious new agreement would open markets among nine Pacific nations –including the United States, Malaysia, Australia and Chile – representing a quarter of the world’s GDP.