Discarded 'briefing binder' reveals corrupt, deceptive practices of powerful dairy lobby
- The Facts:
A 'Briefing Binder' for the lobby representing the Dairy Farmers of Canada found after the Conservative Party’s national convention in Halifax reveals the lengths a lobby group will go to in order to quash legislation that goes against their agenda.
- Reflect On:
How much more evidence do we need that the government and the corporate lobbies are working together in their own interests and against the interests of ordinary citizens before we find a way to bring about fundamental change?
If you need any more evidence that our corrupt system of government and its relationship to the corporatocracy needs an overhaul–if not a complete teardown–here’s another piece of documentation to add to the stack.
A Briefing Binder for the lobby representing the Dairy Farmers of Canada was found abandoned on the floor after the Conservative Party’s national convention in Halifax, and was made public over the weekend in a series of social media posts by delegate Matthew Bexte, a recent University of Calgary economics graduate who lives on his family’s farm near Vulcan, Alta.
At issue here is Canada’s legislative support for ‘supply management,’ a system that allows specific commodity sectors — dairy, poultry and eggs — to limit the supply of their products. Hence, the ‘supplier,’ in this case the Dairy Farmers of Canada, is able to manage and mandate its own supply levels, supposedly to ‘ensure predictable, stable prices.’ In fact, it looks like it is a mechanism that once again is used to enrich the corporatocracy and the very few at the top at the expense of smaller independent suppliers.
Voice Of The People
The main reason this information has come into the public eye is because it got into the hands of a delegate who traveled the length of the country on his own dime (ok, tens of thousands of dimes) to voice his family’s opposition to supply management. The contents of the binder provided a rude and disheartening awakening for Mr. Bexte.
Treasure Trove Of Deceit
This National Post Article does a good job of elaborating upon the various means the Dairy Farmers of Canada lobby were prepared to employ to ensure the continuation of ‘supply management,’ including the use of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer as a ‘safety net.’ The result of their wining and dining (and likely other) efforts were such that the lobby had ‘been assured by Scheer’s office that he will not put supply management in an electoral platform regardless of the outcome at convention.’ This was especially critical for them at this juncture due to the fact that there was a resolution on the agenda at the convention to “phase out supply management.”
The binder details an incredibly complex Dairy Farmers strategy to quash the resolution before it goes to plenary debate and, failing that, get it defeated. Multiple scenarios are detailed, along with “proposed messaging” for each one. What ended up happening was that the policy was never discussed at an initial breakout session, and thus never came up for debate for inclusion in the Conservative platform. The Dairy Farmers called this a “sub-optimal” scenario since “it buys us a reprieve, but doesn’t put the issue to rest.” What they really wanted was for the policy to be brought up at the initial session and then immediately dismissed, something the Dairy Farmers assumed would “discourage supporters of this motion from trying again.” Nevertheless, the “proposed messaging” for the “sub-optimal” outcome was to say that “there are still some voices in the Conservative Party that have yet to fully understand why supply management is good for Canadians.”
What is perhaps most ironic is that in the past, much of the focus of the Dairy Lobby was the meticulous (and patently false) portrayal of the vast majority of Canadian dairy producers as “just a bunch of humble family farms trying to make a living.” Now, thanks to the power of social media, one of those humble family farms might become a catalyst for their undoing.
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