Supply management alive and well under TPP

Conservatives effectively closed the door on any meaningful revisions to supply management

Supply management alive and well under TPPIn the recent Munk Debate on foreign policy, all three leaders of the major federal parties rushed to support the status quo on supply management, even though the system penalizes consumers. And in an election with so much sloganeering about household economics and the middle class, surely the manufactured price inflation of universal food staples would…

Supply management fixation may finally be coming to an end

Not to be part of the deal would have been tragic for Canada’s agricultural economy

Supply management fixation may finally be coming to an endWe shouldn’t kid ourselves, the Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP) trade deal was never really about Canada. It was, in fact, about the United States’ will to undermine China, increase its commercial footprint in the region, and connect with Japan. But whatever the motivation for the deal, it is time to redefine what competitiveness really means to…

Dairy farmers can no longer milk the system

Consumption per capita continues to decline

Dairy farmers can no longer milk the systemOur supply management regime in recent months, particularly in dairy, has been under fire as a result of recent trade talks with both Europe and the Asian-Pacific region. But the public discourse ignores the fact that Canadians are consuming less dairy products. Recent Statistics Canada data show that from 1995 to 2014 per-capita consumption of…

The folly of protectionism

Free trade creates many more jobs than it ever kills

The folly of protectionismYears ago when I lived in Victoria, British Columbia and manned a small office, a salesman wandered in and tried to sell me his particular photocopier. He noted my current machine was Japanese but his was Canadian. So obviously, I should support Canadian jobs and lease his made-in-Canada brand instead. Of course, he was unaware…

Canada last holdout to dairy quota reform

Canada cannot afford to replicate the EU strategy that ended its dairy quota regime

Canada last holdout to dairy quota reformThe end of the European Union’s (EU) dairy quota regime on March 31 leaves Canada as the only developed economy in the world with a highly-protectionist quota and tariff system in the dairy sector. The EU is hoping to take advantage of the growing Asian demand for dairy products by increasing the productivity of its…

Ending spat with United States could help us both

Our best allies should be the ones closest to home

Ending spat with United States could help us bothCanadians have had good reason to feel like we’re the wallflower who is taken for granted by the big, hunky neighbour to the south. Softwood lumber? Canadians again face the threat of tariffs when an eight-year truce expires in October. Country of origin labelling for beef? You bet. And our oil is so “dirty” in…

Is the Trans Pacific Partnership a good deal for Canada?

The difficulty lies in making TPP work for average Canadians

Is the Trans Pacific Partnership a good deal for Canada?Is the Trans Pacific Partnership a bulwark of freedom as proponents claim, or is Canada about to be shoehorned into another free trade deal that will continue the hollowing out of our economy? It depends on your perspective. The TPP, championed by U.S. President Barack Obama as an important addition to the world’s free-trade zone…

California drought an opportunity for Canadian agriculture

But banking only on a lower currency and inexpensive input costs not enough to build our competitive advantage

California drought an opportunity for Canadian agricultureThis past March was declared the hottest month since record keeping began in 1880. In fact, 2015, statistically speaking, is the warmest start of any year on record. It’s not surprising, therefore, that things are really heating up around the world, and particularly in California. After enduring its fourth rain-free season, one of the most…

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a study in oppression

The Harper government takes a principled stand against China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank a study in oppression‘Aunt’ Mai, my elderly neighbour, is a smallish (4’, 10”) wonderful Chinese woman who lives a quiet life in Edmonton caring for her sister and tending to her vegetable garden. She and her family escaped to Canada at a time when China’s communists were brutalizing her homeland. During the Cultural Revolution (1966 to 76), her…

The sun never sets on the age of e-globalization

Electronic interconnectedness is the virtual glue that holds the contemporary global economy together

The sun never sets on the age of e-globalizationPoliticians, economists and the media describe globalization as the new economy of the 21st century. Globalization, however, is neither a new concept nor an accurate descriptor of the internet-driven transformational change sweeping the international economic landscape. Globalization is a throwback to an age before electronic connectivity and the free movement of products and capital. It…