BMO’s View of Supply Management

Today I read an email that I received from the General Manager of the Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO). The email directed me to the following article in the Toronto Star: www.thestar.com/article/426706. The article is written by Don Coxe, Global Portfolio Strategist at BMO Financial Group. The email from EFO included a prelude that stated, “For those who bank with the BMO call and ask them if they support the position put forward by their strategist to eliminate supply management!!!!!” After receiving the email, I read the article in order to determine if I needed to contact BMO. I think the article makes a great deal of sense and is transparent – which is more than I can say for the EFO. Amongst many suggestions, Coxe suggests that supply management be ended. To some that seems unbelievable –especially to most quota holders. Wonder if tobacco farmers find it unbelievable? But if the government would follow through with Coxes’ recommendations, quota holders would be paid market value for their quota. I’m sure the tobacco farmers would have loved hearing such an offer from the government. In an earlier email that I received in the previous week, EFO General Manager stated, “I would like you call/email/write/fax/visit your MP to let them know the text (current draft WTO text) is not in the best interest of Canada and not in keeping with the motion passed in November 2005.” I would be happy to contact my MP to tell him that current proposed agreements are not in keeping with the motion that was passed in November 2005 but I’m not willing to communicate that the text is not in the best interest of Canada. That requires much more thought and research. A more correct statement might be that it’s not in the best interest of quota holders. Maybe in the mean time, EFO can develop a plan to carry on business without supply management if that is required in the future. But wait- didn’t I already ask for that at my zone’s annual meeting? Yes, I did. Someone will have to check the minutes to see for sure – but wait, there were no minutes kept. Even if there were minutes kept, you couldn’t get them. EFO doesn’t have to provide minutes – even to their members (except for the provincial annual meeting minutes).

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