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Ontario Government's Strong Trade Stand Applauded By Farmers

by 5m Editor
28 June 2007, at 11:12am

WHISTLER - The Government of Ontario's strong stand on agriculture is applauded by Ontario's dairy and poultry farmers.

Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, has called on the federal government to actively negotiate the best deal for all Canadian agriculture including its supply management sectors at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Dombrowsky is in Whistler, B.C. at the federal/provincial/territorial agricultural meetings.

"We believe it is possible for the federal government to negotiate a balanced trade position that works for all of agriculture," said Carolynne Griffith, spokesperson for FarmGate5 and Chair of Egg Farmers of Ontario. "We have seen countries with less influence than Canada negotiate terms for their industries that have been incorporated into the working text at the WTO."

The federal government appears to have removed itself from the current round of agricultural trade negotiations at the WTO, citing that a unanimously approved 2005 House of Commons Motion limits its ability to negotiate.

"Minister Dombrowsky was responsible for introducing a similar motion at Queen's Park in December 2005 that resulted in a unanimous, all-party commitment to maintaining Ontario's supply management system," said Geri Kamenz, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). "This support was reaffirmed by a second motion held in May of this year. Both federal and provincial motions are firm commitments to achieve a deal that works for all of agriculture."

"Ontario is not alone in calling on the federal government to negotiate for all of Canadian agriculture, including supply management," said John Kikkert, President of Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO). "Farmers from coast-to-coast are asking Minister Strahl to get back to the table and actively negotiate the best deal possible for all Canadian farmers."

5m Editor