question period — Agriculture and Agri-Food

Support for Sector

December 8, 2020


[15:06]

Honourable senators, my question is for Senator Gold, the Government Representative in the Senate.

Poultry and egg farmers welcomed Minister Bibeau’s recent announcement of $691 million for support for the egg and poultry farmers who have lost domestic market share due to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Europe — CETA — and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP. Senator Gold, when will these programs be implemented and when will these funds be available to poultry and egg farmers?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate)
[15:07]

Thank you, senator, for raising this question. Let me begin by pointing out, for the benefit of the chamber, that in the European trade agreement there were actually no concessions made to the chicken, turkey, egg and hatching egg sectors; it was only for cheese.

As for the CPTPP, the government remains committed to supporting supply management, and it will provide compensation to poultry and egg producers impacted by the trade agreement. Indeed, the government will provide up to $691 million for 10‑year programs for supply-managed chicken, egg, broiler hatching egg and turkey farmers who have been impacted by that agreement. These programs, I should add, respond to what was asked for by the poultry and egg working group following the ratification of the treaty, and they will provide producers with targeted support to make on-farm investments that improve productivity as well as develop their market. It will be designed in consultation with senior representatives and will be launched as soon as possible.

[15:08]

When can the poultry and egg farmers expect similar support from version two of the North American Free Trade Agreement? They lost share, of course, because of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement now known as CUSMA?

Senator Gold
[15:08]

The government remains committed to providing full and fair compensation for the impacts of CUSMA on poultry and egg farmers. I have been advised by the government that details on the CUSMA compensation will be announced shortly.