Dairy cows feed at Parksville’s Morningstar Farm. — News file photo

Dairy cows feed at Parksville’s Morningstar Farm. — News file photo

Vancouver Island dairy farmer disappointed with USMCA deal

Parksville farmer says recently signed agreement will cause cuts to his growth income

Some Vancouver Island dairy farmers are saying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed the Canadian dairy sector when he signed the USMCA on Nov. 30.

Related: Parksville farmer says new USMCA deal ‘terribly weakens’ Canadian dairy industry

Clarke Gourlay, dairy farmer and co-owner of Morningstar Farm in Parksville, says his farm will see a 20 per cent decrease in growth income as a result of the recently signed US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement (USMCA).

According to the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), the federal government has gone beyond the original concessions made when the USMCA was announced, and signed a deal granting the United States oversight in the administration of the Canadian dairy system.

“Granting additional market access of 3.9 per cent to our domestic dairy market, eliminating competitive dairy classes, and extraordinary measures to limit our ability to export dairy products to any country in the world will have a dramatic impact on investments by the whole sector,” states a press release from the DFC.

Pierre Lampron, president of DFC, said the group fails to see how this deal can be good for dairy farmers, their families and the 221,000 people emplyed in the dairy industry.

“Our government is not only contributing to the dismantling of our dairy model in Canada, it is giving up our sovereign right to make our own policies and that should be of concern to all Canadians,” Lampron said in the release.

Once recent trade deals – including CETA, CPTPP and USMCA – come into effect, total dairy imports will make up close to 20 per cent of the Canadian dairy market.

The DFC, say the agreement also means that locally produced milk from Canadian dairy farms is being pushed off the shelves to make way for imported products from the US.

Gourlay said he believes trudeau is selling out Canadian dairy farmers and using them as a “pawn”.

“Over the last three years [Trudeau] and the previous government have given up approximately 20 per cent of the dairy industry,” Gourlay said.

Gourlay said his farm owns about 50 cows for milking, but once the trade agreement comes into effect, that number will decrease to 40.

“And 20 per cent less growth income…I mean 20 per cent is a big hit,” he said.

Gourlay said the new agreement will definitely effect his business.

“We’re disappointed, I would say but we will carry on,” Gourlay said. “For the cheese part of our business (Little Qualicum Cheeseworks), we can buy milk from other farms if we have to. It decreases efficiencies all the way around.”

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read