The conversation was the 1st instalment of The National’s Face to Face series
Access to Canada’s supply-managed agriculture sectors is off limits in all future trade negotiations with other countries, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Monday.
“As we negotiate any more trade deals, I can tell you access to supply-managed sectors is not on the table for any more deals,” he said.
Trudeau said that goes for any post-Brexit trade negotiations with the United Kingdom.
“If there is a deal with the U.K., there will be no more concessions than we already have given to [the Canada-EU trade deal] through that,” he said.
Trudeau made the remarks during the first instalment of The National Presents: Face to Face with the Federal Party Leaders, where five undecided voters get five minutes to ask one of four federal party leaders about an issue close to their hearts as they go about making up their minds about whom to vote for.
rudeau was questioned by Alain Philippot, a third-generation Manitoba dairy farmer, who expressed his concern over the foreign market access given to Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector in recent international trade deals.
Between trade agreements already in effect — with the European Union and Pacific Rim trading partners — and the still-unratified rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement, dairy farmers have said they believe at least 10 per cent of Canada’s dairy market has been given up to foreign suppliers.
Poultry and egg farmers will also see a significant share of their supply-managed market opened to American producers if the new NAFTA proceeds.
“We need to have a strong agricultural sector in this country. We need strong family farms. We’re going to make sure you are confident and your son is confident in his future,” Trudeau said in response to Philippot’s questions, assuring the farmer that his industry has given enough and would not be asked to give more.
The undecided voters chosen to question the leaders have been carefully selected from across the country and represent the diversity of the electorate groups — regionally, racially and ethnically, socio-economic, different ages, different priorities. Each voter is undecided, but open to voting for the leader they are across from and looking for the answers they need for a question that relates to their lives.
We invited leaders who are running national campaigns. We provided a date range in order to have them all recorded and aired in the span of one week. Maxime Bernier and the PPC declined, citing scheduling issues. Yves-Francois Blanchet was not invited as the Bloc Quebecois is only running candidates in one province.