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Scott Will End Supply Management, Lower Grocery Bills

April 20th, 2022

Refrigerator Aisle, Your Grocery Store – Scott Aitchison and the Conservative team he leads will end supply management to help Canadians struggling with rising grocery bills and high inflation. The policy will also help Canadian farmers stuck in a system that limits their ability to grow, compete, and sell Canadian products around the world. This is the right approach for Canadian consumers and farmers alike.

“We will end supply management. We will do it to help families struggling with their grocery bills. We will do it to help farmers sell their exceptional products around the world. We will do it because it’s the right thing to do.” said Scott Aitchison, Conservative Leadership Candidate. “For too long federal government policy has forced Canadians to pay higher prices at the grocery store for milk, eggs, and chicken with their inflationary pressure of supply management.” 

Unlike your driver’s license where every Canadian who meets the criteria can obtain one with ease, the Federal Government severely limits farming in supply managed industries, and makes quota expensive. For a standard 80 cow farm, the cost is over $3 million, just for the supply management permission slip. 

Upon taking office after the next election, Scott Aithchison and the Conservative team would:

  • End 50 years of bad policy and wind down supply management during its first term  to end this grocery bill inflation.
  • Fairly compensate farmers forced to buy and hold quota today.
  • Support Canadian farmers to succeed in growing and thriving in global markets.

This is a Federal program that has been inflating Canadian grocery bills for decades, and shutting out would-be farmers and entrepreneurs from being able to grow Canada’s agricultural industry. This policy announcement is the latest Scott has made in his campaign to lead the Conservative Party that will make life more affordable for Canadians and offer real leadership that delivers results for Canadians.


BACKGROUNDER

Ending Supply Management

Canada’s supply management system is an elaborate network of licenses and quotas that limit competition, fix prices, and block imports for dairy, poultry and eggs. The result? The number of Canadian dairy farmers has drastically shrunk over the past 50 years and Canadians are left paying inflated grocery bills.

Upon taking office after the next election, Scott Aithchison and the Conservative team would end 50 years of bad policy by winding down supply management to end this grocery bill inflation. In doing so the Government of Canada would fairly compensate farmers forced to buy and hold quota today, and start a new era of global opportunity for Canadian farmers.

How badly is supply management adding to inflation? A 2015 study revealed that supply management costs the average family $444 a year more on their grocery bill, or $585 a year for families with children. This was before the Canadian Dairy Commission announced their 8.4% price increase for 2022.

That’s a month of groceries or a big extra payment to a credit card that could be helping make life more affordable. 

The wrong approach to saving the family farm: Defenders of the status quo argue that these costs are what Canadians are willing to pay to keep family farms in operation. This is where the supply management system shows its fundamental faults: when the system was implemented in the 1970s there were over 100,000 dairy farms in Canada. Today there are fewer than 11,000. If the rationale to keep supply management is to save the family farm, it’s failed.