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British Columbia

Dairy farmer decries mandatory ‘milk dumping’ to keep prices high

At a time of generational high food prices, Ontario farmer Jerry Huigen has to discard 30,000 liters of surplus produce

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As Canadian consumers are battered by generational high rates of food inflation, an Ontario dairy farmer on Monday posted a viral video documenting how to do it He was forced by federal authorities to dump excess milk from a swimming pool.

I threw away 30,000 liters of milk and it breaks my heartsays dairy farmer Jerry Huigen in a five-minute TikTok video that has already been viewed more than a million times on various social media platforms.

“They’re making us throw it out, and this time I’m going public,” he adds, while standing by a drainpipe and pouring milk on the floor.

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Milk dumping has actually been an integral part of the Canadian dairy sector for at least 50 yearsand it is being done very consciously to keep Canadian milk prices high.

Since the 1970s, Canadian dairy farmers have been subjected to a state-sanctioned cartel that artificially limits supply to drive up prices and ensure farmers’ profitability.

Each month, the Canadian Dairy Commission dictates the exact amount of milk to be produced in Canada, which is then met through a strict system of production quotas at the country’s 10,000 dairy farms.

“There are disciplines in place to ensure growers do not exceed their quotas,” according to an official fact sheet released by the Ontario Department of Agriculture.

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At the same time, strict border controls protect Canadian milk producers from foreign competition.

Imports of foreign dairy products can be subject to prohibitive tariffs of up to 400 percent, and travelers face penalties and confiscations from the Canadian Border Services Agency if they return to Canada with too much cheese in their luggage.

In fact, it is Canada’s insistence on these border controls that has proven to be the single greatest obstacle to Canada’s efforts to secure free trade deals with Europe and the United States.

Because of this, Canadian milk is immune to the usual price swings that hit grocery stores. When Canadian beef farmers experience a particularly good beef production season, the surplus translates into lower retail beef prices.

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But there is no surplus Canadian milk. As Huigen has shown, any milk produced in excess of the quota is simply destroyed. And it is this supply control that allows dairy farmers to set prices.

Last year, the Canadian Dairy Commission increased milk prices by more than 11 percent in 12 months, ensuring that even amid rampant food inflation, milk prices rose faster than almost anything else.

Huigen, who grew up on a dairy farm in Europe, said in Monday’s video that Canada is the “only country” that forces farmers to discard milk when they’ve had an unusually productive season. “But we shouldn’t talk about it,” he said.

The supply management system would be illegal in almost any other sector of Canada’s economy. In 2018, for example, the Competition Bureau of Canada accused some of the country’s largest retailers of criminal offenses after uncovering evidence of collusion to set the price of bread.

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But dairy farmers are threatened with sanctions if they do not participate in price maintenance. Any sale of milk outside of a farmer’s set quota can result in heavy fines and even the suspension of his production licence.

Tell me if you’re in the hog industry, in the lumber industry, in any steel industry, when you have 10 percent too much and times are good… your little bit of profit is going down the drain,” he said.


We apologize, but this video could not be loaded.

As hard drug decriminalization in BC becomes state law, some will Local governments are defying the measure by enacting their own sanctions against outdoor drug use. The Campbell River community on Vancouver Island — which has seen a noticeable rise in drug-related crimes in recent years — countered the new decriminalization regime with an ordinance banning fines for using illegal drugs on public property.

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As Quebec now demands the resignation of Amira Elghawaby, Trudeau's newly appointed anti-Islamic tsarina, she said in a statement Wednesday that she was
As Quebec now demands the resignation of Amira Elghawaby, Trudeau’s newly appointed anti-Islamic tsarina, she said in a statement Wednesday that she was “extremely sorry” for saying in 2019 that the majority of Quebecers were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment . She also said Canada Day was a colonialist farce that should be abolished, but Quebec didn’t care about that part. Photo by The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

The Trudeau government continues to fret new examples of spending scandals that go well beyond the usual confines of Canadian spending scandals. Documents obtained by Conservative Rep. Michelle Rempel Garner show that the federal government spent $6.8 million to rent a quarantine hotel in Calgary used by 15 people (about $450,000 per Piece). This is the same government that somehow spent $54 million on ArriveCan, an app that freelance developers were able to replicate over the course of a weekend.

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