Don't blame Canada, say P.E.I. dairy farmers after Trump remarks

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P.E.I. milk production approaching 10M litre mark

Dairy farmers on P.E.I. say they are not worried about U.S.president Donald Trump's criticism of Canada's supply management system.

Instead, his remarks have sparked new support for Canadian farmers, some are saying.

Dairy farmer Ron Maynard of Tyne Valley said calls and messages have been coming in from around the island and across the country, showing Canadians are coming together after Trump's attack on the industry.

"We've got a deluge of calls and emails in our offices saying, 'We want Canadian dairy products. We support Canadian dairy products,'" said Maynard, who is also a director of Dairy Farmers of PEI, and a national director for the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Trump is trying to blame Canada for the problems in the U.S. industry, he believes.

"Mr. Trump, I think, is still politicking," said Maynard. "He's speaking to his constituents in Wisconsin and that's what they wanted to hear and that's what he, you know, he told them."

Canada's supply management system is not to blame, said Maynard. Instead, he pointed to over-production worldwide as the cause of the trouble for American farmers.

The Canadian system keeps production in line with demand, in his opinion.

"We produce products for Canadians by Canadians," Maynard said. "That's what we've been doing in the supply management system for 40 years and we'll continue to do that. I think Canadians are appreciating that."

For Maynard and other farmers, it's still business as usual despite Trump's comments — the cows still need to be milked.

The farmers are counting on the Canadian government to stand up for them in trade issues.

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