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LETTER: Canadians getting ‘milked’

['letter to the editor']
['letter to the editor']

Your editorial of Friday April 28, 2017 "Daisy on trial?" on the benefits of supply management as it applies to milk is timely, given the recent media around its merits and demerits as a matter of public policy. 

But I was left scratching my head at one line, where it reads "Canada's stable supply management system, which puts the burdens on consumers, is far more efficient than American farm subsidies, which puts the burden on taxpayers."

As recently as 2009 one-third of Canadian families paid no taxes, mostly because of our progressive tax system and insufficient incomes to pay taxes. But these same lower income families still need milk for their kids, so they end up disproportionately punished, paying as consumers 'taxes' (the costs of supply management) on the high retail price of milk what they would otherwise not pay if the burden or cost of supply management was covered from all taxes, personal and corporate. 

Canadians pay two to three times more for milk than American (and more than European) consumers. Their milk is subsidzed across the entire tax base, which is to my view fairer for low income consumers, rather than by those consumers alone. 

When you think about it, Atlantic Canadians are even more penalized, because milk costs way more than the rest of the country, but incomes are generally lower. 

How is this system more fair? The question isn't 'Got milk?' but whether Canadian families, particularly lower income, are getting milked.  

Derek Butler 

St. John's, N.L. 

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