PEI

P.E.I. dairy farmers hijack government announcement

P.E.I. dairy farmers were at a joint federal/provincial announcement on highway repaving Friday to make their displeasure with the USMCA deal known.

'We don't want compensation'

Dairy farmers take charge of the podium. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

P.E.I. dairy farmers were at a joint federal/provincial announcement on highway repaving in Cardigan Friday to make their displeasure with the USMCA deal known.

The farmers placed a poster in front of the podium reading "Dairy farm for sale." The trade agreement announced this week would allow American farmers access to 3.59 per cent of Canada's supply-managed dairy products market.

It was the third deal that bargained away part of the Canadian dairy market.

Farmers chanted 'we don’t want compensation, we just want to feed our nation.' (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Deanna Doctor, part of a family farm outside of Kensington, was one of dozens of dairy farmers who turned up for the protest.

"I would like to send a message, hopefully all the way up to Trudeau, that we are not happy with this deal. We're not happy with the fine print of the deal. The more that comes out about it the more livid we're getting. We don't want compensation. We just want to feed our nation," said Doctor.

With part of the quota going to the U.S., said Doctor, every dairy farmer at the protest is expecting to have to sell off a couple of cows, but she added everyone will be selling cows, and there will be no one to buy them.

Dairy farmers brought signs to the infrastructure announcement to protest the USMCA. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Doctor said what was planned as a small meeting to discuss strategy at her family farm Thursday ended up attracting 50 farmers.

The joint infrastructure announcement was for about $3.5 million in highway repaving, with the costs split evenly between the federal and provincial governments.

P.E.I. Infrastructure Minister Paula Biggar at the podium for the joint federal/provincial announcement. 'The provincial government is concerned about any negative impacts on our dairy farmers and continues to stand with them,' a provincial spokesperson said in an email statement to CBC. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

The projects include just over 17 kilometres of repaving on 14 different routes, an expanded left turn lane onto Route 1 in Cornwall from Heatherway Drive and Route 19, and a new culvert in Little Harbour.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Nicole Williams

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.