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Quebec milk producers to protest in Ottawa

Milk farmers plan to hold a rally on Parliament Hill this Thursday

Milk farmers from all over Quebec began travelling to Ottawa by tractor on Monday in a protest aimed at getting the federal government to enforce existing rules governing supply management in their industry.

Dairy farmers say they are losing tens of thousands of dollars a year because federal inspectors allegedly aren't doing their jobs.

The milk farmers are planning to hold a rally on Parliament Hill on Thursday to show their discontent.

Their specific complaint is that a U.S. protein—known as diafiltered milk—is being used in Canadian cheese products.

Canada's supply management system guarantees milk farmers a price and a demand for their products.

The laws also impose a heavy tariff on milk products entering from the United States.

Cheese sold in Canada must include a minimum percentage of actual milk.

Canadian cheese companies, however, are using the diafiltered milk—which passes the border without tariff through a loophole —to fulfil milk quotas in their products.

The milk farmers say Ottawa should be doing a better job inspecting cheese products in Canada to ensure they aren't using diafiltered milk illegally.

They also say they were promised financial compensation from Conservative and Liberal governments in exchange for signing Trans-Pacific and European trade agreements but that they have not received anything as of yet.

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