Ontario Urges Ottawa To Negotiate Best Trade Deal For Farmers

Archived Release

Ontario Urges Ottawa To Negotiate Best Trade Deal For Farmers

McGuinty Government Urges Federal Leaders To Defend Domestic Supply Management At WTO Talks TORONTO, June 25 - Ontario is calling on the federal government to negotiate the best deal for all Canadian agriculture including its supply management sectors at the World Trade Organization negotiations, said Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The minister will be taking her message of unwavering support to the federal/provincial/territorial agricultural meetings in Whistler, British Columbia this week. "Ontario's dairy, poultry and egg farmers, and the supply management system that supports them, are cornerstones of our agriculture industry. We need to preserve them," said Minister Dombrowsky. "Our unique domestic marketing system has long been the strength of these sectors and any threat to this system is a definite threat to the well-being of our agricultural and rural communities." Dombrowsky was responsible for introducing a motion at Queen's Park in December 2005 that resulted in a unanimous, all-party commitment to maintaining Ontario's supply management system. This support was reaffirmed by a second motion held in May of this year. Recent comments made by federal agriculture minister Chuck Strahl and federal trade minister David Emerson with regard to supply management have alarmed the farm community. There is a sense that the federal government is prepared to retreat from Canada's stated WTO negotiating position with respect to supply management. Current negotiations at the WTO call for significant reductions in tariffs for products deemed sensitive, which would undermine a key element of supply management. The current direction of WTO talks are a major concern to the industry, and it is imperative that Canada must champion supply management at the international negotiating table. "The negotiations are reaching a critical stage. It is time for Canada to step up and defend its interests on the world stage," said Dombrowsky. "Prime Minister Harper and Ministers Strahl and Emerson must negotiate terms at the WTO that will result in positive outcomes for Canadian farmers, including those of our supply managed sectors. A deal that trades away the interests of a key sector of our farm economy is unacceptable to Ontario." Disponible en français www.omafra.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Kelly Synnott, Minister's Office, (416) 326-6439; Brent Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9342 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Kelly Synnott, Minister's Office, (416) 326-6439; Brent Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9342