A first round of compensation to BC dairy farmers for market share lost thanks to concessions Canada granted during trade talks that resulted in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has been almost entirely paid out.
According to the Canadian Dairy Commission, 93% of BC producers had registered and received the cash due them as of January 30. The remainder can register up until March 1. Anecdotal evidence indicates from producers indicates that registration has been relatively simple, and payment arrives within days. Payments are allocated based on each producer’s quota.
Dairy producers across Canada were promised a total of $1.75 billion over eight years last August. The federal government promised that producers would begin to receive the first payout of $345 million before the end of the year. BC’s share of the sum was $30 million.
Producers could begin to register for compensation in December.
Details of compensation for concessions made under CUSMA, the agreement negotiated to replace NAFTA, have yet to be announced. The deal itself has yet to be ratified by Canada, now the sole remaining obstacle to its taking effect. Mexico ratified the agreement in December and US lawmakers followed suit in January.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with Dairy Farmers of Canada leaders this week. Agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau was a party to the discussions.