(OTTAWA) The House of Commons passed a bill on Wednesday, just before the summer break, to protect supply management when negotiating trade agreements. However, the vote was not unanimous.
“The Chamber has just made it clear that supply management should no longer be a bargaining chip,” declared Bloc Québécois MP Luc Thériault, surrounded in particular by the Minister of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau, representatives of the agricultural sector.
“Beyond our verbal commitments, now it is enshrined in law,” said the Minister.
In all, 282 MPs voted for Bill C-282 and 51 against. Most of the MPs who opposed it are Conservatives, with the exception of two Liberal MPs from Ontario. The nine Conservative MPs from Quebec all supported him.
The Bloc Québécois has repeatedly denounced the breaches opened up in supply management during the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He estimates that this progress will help preserve the profitability of more than 6,000 agricultural businesses in Quebec.
However, the bill will also have to be passed by the Senate before coming into force, which will not take place before work resumes next fall.
Supply management is a quota mechanism that controls the supply, price and imports of dairy, poultry and egg products.