A few hours before the French-language “leaders’ debate” on September 24 in Montreal, the Quebec Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) held a mass rally of farmers to defend the supply management system. Farmers gathered outside the CBC’s Montreal headquarters where the debate was to take place that evening. More than 1,000 farmers came from across Quebec to participate, with farmers from Ontario also joining in.
The UPA put the political parties present in the debate on notice that they will be held to their professed commitment to defend supply management.
The action came as the Harperites continue to take part in negotiations for the nation-wrecking Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) neo-liberal trade deal in the midst of the federal election. As part of the TPP, the U.S. and EU are seeking to penetrate and gain control of Canadian markets and are pushing Canada to eliminate producer controls over the dairy and poultry sectors, among others. Farmers are defending their livelihoods and the health and safety of the public as well as the agricultural sector and the Quebec and Canadian economies by stepping up their opposition.