Canada’s dairy, egg, and poultry industries are governed by supply management, which restricts production, controls prices, and restricts imports. This arrangement is bad for consumers, who pay high prices for staple foods without lower-cost alternatives. It also weakens the competition of producers. Changes to our U.S. trade relationship may push Ottawa to open the market to more American products. This will leave domestic industry largely unprepared.
Before the country’s hand is forced, policy makers should implement reforms. Australia transitioned from a cartel to a market system to the benefit of consumers and producers. We should do the same. Like the former Canadian Wheat Board, supply management’s time has come.