Yoga trumps Milk Day

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Self-described free marketer Maxime Bernier, has written that he will openly campaign for the phase-out of SM as part of his conservative election platform.
There are a couple of articles today about this on the financial post.

Raube Beuerman

If we had a nickel for every campaign promise during either an election or leadership race we would be very rich and quite possibly have an NDP Government in place at the moment.
I think Mr. Bernier is looking for attention, to stand out from the others but he has had 10 years to do that as a MP and choose not to.

Nickels and dimes do add up but the Liberals keep taking dollars not pennies .
At least Bernier has the stones to stand up and say what needs to be done . How much longer can the rest of agriculture keep being treated as second class in this Country . If we are to have closed borders with protection for a few then we all deserve the same .

That protection was offered long ago to beef and pork, they turned it down.

Supply management for beef and/or pork would decimate both industries because they would price themselves right off the grocery shelves as well as end any chance of exports.

That's always been why anyone suggesting that supply management is now, or could ever have been, an option for beef or pork is, and should be, completely ignored.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

"Priced themselves right off the grocery shelves"... You mean like they have in 2015 and continue to do in many households, that is a very poor and skeptical argument.In the mean time Supply Management chicken has filled that protein need for many families.

... and it was offered, so the blame can start with themselves.

Supply management never was an option for either pork or beef because once exports are automatically ended by the implementation of supply management, substantially-lower production volumes would cause the cost-of-production for both meats would go through the roof - resulting in a sort of "death-spiral" ratchet-effect for both sectors as much-higher retail prices deter consumption which results in lower production which results in higher costs-of-production which results in higher retail prices and so on and so forth - in short, a fairly-rapid "scorched-earth" decimation of both industries.

The tragic part of this is that every pork and beef farmer knew this and, therefore, wisely spurned supply management, yet nobody in either dairy or poultry (or any major farm organization) ever did understand this, and/or obviously never will.

In addition to every pork and beef farmer intuitively understanding exactly how and why supply management would decimate their industries, anyone who has taken even the first post-secondary course in economics at either the college or University level wouldn't be proffering the above pro-supply management argument for beef and pork because it's an argument that immediately identifies the proponent as being poorly-informed.

More to the point, every economics student learns that the only products for which supply management "works", and then even only on a temporary basis, are those products:

(A) for which there are few substitutes (milk and eggs are good examples)
(B) which don't require a lot of processing (milk and eggs are again good examples)
(C) which have a low price-elasticity of demand and a low cross-elasticity of demand (chicken and turkey are good examples)
(D) which are fairly homogenous in nature (milk and eggs are again good examples)

Beef and pork satisfy none of the above criteria, yet it continues to astound people who understand basic economic principles, including every beef and pork farmer, to see just how many farmers (and farm organizations) don't understand any basic economic principles at all, and who, in their stampede to support the wretched excesses of supply management, have no apparent desire to do so.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Supply management for beef and pork is as stupid an idea as supply management for cull dairy cows or replacement dairy heifers, yet supply management supporters just don't get it, and judging from the comments on this site, never will.

For example, imagine how apoplectic a dairy farmer would be if he needed to cull two cows and was told - "Sorry, you have quota to sell only cull cow per month - now that we have supply management for beef, allowing people to sell more cull cows than their quota allotment will cause an over-supply of hamburger and, consequently, would lower the price of all meat. You're going to have to keep this cow until at least next month."

The same thing applies for the replacement heifer market - once again imagine how apoplectic a dairy farmer would be if, for example, he had two cows die and needed two replacement heifers and/or fresh cows but could buy only one because the replacement heifer grower had quota to grow only one.

Supply management supporters could all easily come up with a thousand reasons why supply management wouldn't work in the cull cow and/or replacement heifer market, yet they are completely and continually unable to apply the same principles to the rest of the livestock sector.

The unvarnished truth is that supply management needs the free market for livestock in order to even be able to exist - why, therefore:

(1) do supply managed dairy types keep calling for something that would adversely affect their ability to sell cull cows and buy replacement heifers?
(2) do we need supply management for anything?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The increase in 2015 prices was partially due to PED, which reduced supply, creating an increase in prices. Your logic is extremely flawed because you are arguing that supply be reduced even more than it was due to PED, by implementing SM, which would have resulted in even higher prices.
Use your head.

Raube Beuerman

There would not of been that short supply under Supply Management because we wouldn't have those forgein trade exports or the live hog truck trains to the US and we could focus on our own domestic markets. With fair prices to both producers and consumers and farmers able to operate in a much more stable environment. Just think of it, a pork producer actually able to plan 5 or 6 years down the road without worrying about the dreaded "cleansing" of bottoming out prices.

The biggest of many, many errors in logic and/or understanding of basic economic principles in the above posting is the error continually made by all supply management supporters - ignoring the reality of the marketplace.

For example, the biggest winners in any supply management system for the pork industry in Canada would be US pork producers who:

(1) without any imports coming from Canada, would be able to expand to meet both US domestic needs and make exports to other countries normally made by Canadian hog producers.
(2) would be further able to increase production to meet the demands of Canadian consumers who would, given the stratospheric prices of pork in grocery stores under supply management, be adding bacon to their shopping carts when they make their weekly trip to the US to buy dairy and poultry products.

The truly galling things about the above two points are:

(A) every Canadian hog farmer has known about this since they were in grade school.
(B) every shopper in every Canadian border city has known about point (2) since they were in grade school.
(C) why can't supply management supporters understand, at any age, what hog producers and Canadian border-city consumers understand before they even reach puberty?

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

" That would not be the case " Never say never I was always told . Unless you live in a glass house .
Pretty sure Avian flu is carried by wild birds who have no borders and shit where ever they want . I have been in chicken barns with barn swallows and sparrows in them .

Long ago we were not part of NAFTA and recognized as a global trading nation .
Things have changed big time . SM is holding back the rest of Canada as a big trading nation .

That 10% of Canada's farming community, approximately 15,000 quota-owning and often militantly-haughty farmers, can continue to hold the entire country hostage, and without any debate on the matter, is a modern-day miracle as well as a travesty of fundamental fairness.

Dismissing M. Bernier for this, that or whatever reason serves little purpose except to illustrate the extent to which supply management supporters seem to be able to equate the good luck of supply management's longevity with good public policy when there is, of course, absolutely no connection between the two.

Bernier seems to have learned from the mistakes made by one-time Liberal leadership candidate, Martha Hall-Findlay, who, when advancing the same proposition, saw her "baby thrown out with the bathwater" when she seriously miscalculated retail milk prices in Canada as a result of supply management - Bernier has made no mistakes in either his numbers or his logic and it will, therefore, be a lot harder for "shoot-the-messenger" supply management supporters to dismiss him and/or his message.

Furthermore, as noted by National Post columnist, John Ivison, in today's London Free Press, today's Conservative Party seems to be in the mood to slaughter a lot of sacred cows, including their long-time opposition to gay marriage and their apparent support for supply management.

That Bernier, one of only two bi-lingual leadership candidates (Jason Kenny is the other) has made opposition to supply management his "signature" position, speaks volumes about how thin the support for supply management really is - Bernier may not win the leadership campaign, but his opposition to supply management will be THE criteria by which every other candidate will be measured especially when they're trying to steal from Bernier:

(1) leadership convention delegates representing 34 million consumers
(2) leadership convention delegates representing the 90% of Canadian farmers who don't own quota.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Mr Thompson. I am not convinced about the representation expected of leadership convention delegates. Aren't they, by definition, all Conservatives? So, why would we expect them to share the values of ALL (or even a majority of) Canadians? Historically, farmers tend to be more Conservative, and will be looking to a Conservative Leader who will support them. So, I'd ask, how does just the demolition of supply management 'support' farmers who don't own quota (given that current supply-managed farmers will then be less able to purchase feed from off the farm (SBM, canola meal, corn,....even beet pulp)? It probably doesn't at this time, given a Global glut in milk supply.
Instead, I'd argue that these farmer-delegates are likely to be better served by voting in a Candidate for Leader who will offer a comprehensive, balanced and positive vision for all of Canadian agriculture.
John Walton Rockwood ON

The answer to your question would be obvious to any non-supply managed farmer in the above three counties - the end of supply management would end the stranglehold supply management has on the land market and actually allow somebody who wasn't born with quota under their pillow to start farming.

The "you need us in order to sell your grain" argument is specious and ignores the basic economic principle that a decline in the price of milk, and the end of supply restrictions will see an increase in milk production and, therefore, an increase in the sale of what the rest of us grow.

As for Libs and Conservatives, supply managed farmers are welded to the Libs and never did trust the Conservatives and have no reason to trust them now.

As for a comprehensive, balanced and positive vision for all of Canadian agriculture, nothing would, and I agree with Bernier, better fit all three criteria than getting rid of supply management and the wretched excesses it has spawned.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Can you list all the countries in the last decade that asked farmers to "voluntarily" control milk production and then stack it against the countries that "legislate" milk production?

Now can you name the countries that had "voluntary" milk controls now are experiencing severe milk shortages?

Which system would you like your family to be under in 10 years?

Same was said about Trump, yet he has a 50-50 chance of being president simply because the average American is not happy with the last 30 years of the establishment!

More like the Donald has a 60% chance of winning . Trump will run the country like a business not a take from Peter to pad Paul's pocket as we have here in Ontario .

So? Bernier will be old news soon.

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