THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP THREATENS ABITIBI-TÉMISCAMINGUE FARMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 13, 2016

 

THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP THREATENS ABITIBI-TÉMISCAMINGUE FARMS

 

ROUYN-NORANDA – Quebec’s dairy farmers have had a tough year, and the Liberal government’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiated by the Conservatives has done nothing to restore their confidence.

According to Les Producteurs de lait du Québec, 2015 saw record farm closures. There were a dozen in Abitibi-Témiscamingue alone, double the previous year. “The region’s farmers are exhausted and are not optimistic about the future,” said New Democrat MP Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue). “Many of the local farm closures are directly tied to the general uncertainty caused by the TPP negotiations and the crack opened up by the agreement in the supply management system,” said Ms. Moore.

“The Conservatives negotiated the TPP in secret. The Liberals promised to make changes, but they have already said they are going to sign the agreement as is. The TPP endangers supply management, and we are already seeing the effects,” said NDP Agriculture Critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé).

Dairy farmers say that the TPP could cost the industry 3.25% of its market share. This is why the NDP is calling on the Liberal government to act quickly to stop the decline of family farms and protect supply management.

“The industry needs support. The government needs to reassure dairy farmers. We need to protect industry jobs, and instead the TPP risks making the situation worse. The only way to save our jobs is to protect supply management in its entirety,” added Ms. Brosseau.

The MP for Abitibi-Témiscamingue pointed out that family farms and the dairy industry are responsible for over 12,000 local jobs. “Farms are an essential part of rural life and we need to do everything we can to protect our farmers,” said Christine Moore.

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For more information, please contact:

Alain Guimond, Constituency Assistant

(819) 629-8301 or christine.moore.c1a@parl.gc.ca