One of the most contentious pillars of Canadian agricultural policy is something called “supply management”. Basically, the federal government has established regulatory bodies controlling certain food products – eggs, dairy, and poultry – which make and enforce policies designed to protect chicken and dairy farmers by artificially controlling prices. These policies include setting production quotas, limiting imports, and setting minimum prices at the industrial and wholesale level.
These regulatory bodies wield a certain amount of political influence, especially in rural Ontario and Quebec. The most powerful of these bodies is the Canadian Dairy Commission, which controls production and prices for milk and dairy products across Canada, and is also heavily involved with research and marketing in the dairy industry.
The CDC was founded as a Crown Corporation reporting to the Minister of Agriculture in October of 1966, replacing the government’s older dairy controls through the Dairy Products Division of the Department of Agriculture. The government’s efforts to improve the dairy industry had originally been under the control of a semi-autonomous Dominion Dairy Commissioner created in 1890, which became the Dairy and Cold Storage Commissioner of the Central Experimental Farm in 1907 before the division was amalgamated with the Dominion Agricultural Bacteriologist to form the Bacteriology & Dairy Research Division of the Department of Agriculture Science Service in 1937.
The chairmen of the Canadian Dairy Commission have been:
Sydney Clifford Barry, 1966-73.
Ellard J. Powers, 1973-76.
Gilles Choquette, 1976-86.
Roch Morin, 1986-94.
Gilles Prégent, 1994-97.
Guy Jacob, 1997-2001.
Michel Pagé, 2001-02.
John Core, 2002-07.
Randy Williamson, 2007-now.
The Dominion Dairy Commissioners and Dairy and Cold Storage Commissioners were:
James Wilson Robertson CMG, 1890-1904.
John Archibald Ruddick, 1904-34.
John Franklin Singleton CBE, 1934-37.