Is Canadian Dairy Commission milking the system?

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The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) is staying mum about executive bonuses paid out to five executives for 2020 and 2021.

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A story in Blacklock’s Reporter states that the CDC gave out pandemic bonuses and pay increases — and most payments have been detailed in Access To Information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the Taxpayers Federation, said it’s tone-deaf for the CDC to hand out raises and bonuses “while making milk more expensive.

“Bureaucrats should be sharing in the tough times,” he said.

Access To Information records showed from the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 the commission awarded a combined $143,202 in pay raises to 57 employees. In 2021 a second raise cost $122,128 for 48 employees. The CDC also awarded those undisclosed bonuses to five unnamed staff.

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The CDC  is a crown corporation and sets the wholesale price of milk in Canada. Dairy farmers, provincial milk marketing boards and others have input on that pricing.

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The CDC received $3.9 million from taxpayers in 2019-20 and $4.7 million in 2020-21.

Since late December, milk prices nationwide increased six per cent from an average $2.64 per litre to $2.79, according to Statistics Canada Monthly Average Retail Prices For Selected Products. Cream is up 11% on a national average. Cheese went up 12% and butter is up 18%.

The CDC raised milk prices 8.4 per cent in February 2022 and another rise of 2.5 per cent increase will take effect Sept. 1.

The coming 2.5 increase in September will likely be approved by each province by the end of July and is necessary, according to the CDC, because farmers face price hikes for feed, fertilizer and other things.

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“The increase in producers’ revenues will partially offset increased production costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic which caused revenues to remain below the cost of production,” the CDC stated last November.

StatsCan figures show large milk product price discrepancies among provinces. Milk sells anywhere from $1.85 per litre in Manitoba to $3.34 in Newfoundland and Labrador, and $3.50 in Ontario.

Cream costs range from from $4.09 per litre in British Columbia to $5.83 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Butter and cheese likewise fluctuate in price from province to province.

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