Satire: The Tomato Marketing Board of Canada

The Tomato Marketing Board will bring better farming jobs and the highest qualities of food to Canadians across the nation.


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CBC NewsNet, September 18, 2019

The brilliantly diverse Reshmi Nair: We now join the CPC campaign in Leamington, Ontario.

[Andrew Sheer, behind a podium adorned with the caption “Creating Quality Jobs for Canadians,” addresses the crowd.]

Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you. Thank you. Friends… Thank you.

Friends, today the CPC is announcing a bold new initiative to enhance food quality and availability for Canadians from coast to coast to coast! If elected, we pledge to establish the Tomato Marketing Board as part of our national tomato strategy. No longer will our tomato producers and consumers be at the rapacious whims of unfair foreign competition. We will end that, securing good-quality tomatoes and high-quality family-farm jobs in Canada for Canadians! Yes! Yes! Thank you. Thank you.

Friends, for decades, the Liberal government has allowed American and Mexican farmers to take unfair advantage of our open borders! With a growing season two or even three times as long as we have in the Great White North; by exploiting cheap labour; and yes, friends, by using science to create crops with greater pest resistance, firmness, longevity, and nutrition, American and Mexican industrial-scale farmers have been allowed to out-compete our local farm families, dumping their inferior tomatoes into our markets at prices that are unsustainable. No longer, my friends! No longer! Thank you.

What our tomato-farm families need to survive is price stability year ’round – price stability that only the federal government can deliver with a national strategy. Fluctuating prices season by season and year by year, based on unpredictable weather, planting decisions made half way around the world, and other imponderables makes rational planning impossible for the average family tomato producer. With your help, a strong, stable, majority Conservative government will fix that!

And friends, think about all of the food that is wasted in our inefficient, unregulated tomato sector today! Studies estimate that up to 30% of tomatoes bought by our grocery stores are thrown out, not even eaten. Some of this is spoilage in transport, before they even get onto the shelves! Who better than the federal government to determine how many of each variety of tomato will be consumed by Canadians in the coming year, and where they will be consumed?

Armed with data from the compulsory long-form census, our new Department of Tomato Regulations and Promotion will be able to expertly divide up the market fairly among local Canadian producers, giving them income security and guaranteeing consumers a constant, just-in-time supply of fresh, locally grown, high-quality tomatoes!

I know. I know. Some naysayers will complain that it can’t be done in Canada: our winters are too long; our tomato farms are too small; our input costs are too high… But I say we can grow tomatoes all year round in Canada! All that is lacking is a bold vision, and even bolder action.

With advances in greenhouse technologies there is nothing Canadians can’t grow for ourselves, given the right economic environment created by the CPC’s business-friendly platform. And friends, we need to create more good-paying, value-added jobs right here in Canada! We can’t let foreign dumping strangle our fledgling organic greenhouse tomato industry in its crib! Our national tomato strategy contemplates a temporary transition period where farmers might have to be subsidized a few cents per tomato; but this is a small price well worth paying, friends!

Importantly, our new national tomato strategy dovetails with the CPC climate-change plan. Scientists tell us that global warming is real; adaptation is required. We must plan now to transition our economy to the coming warmer and longer summers. If we begin to foster our tomato farms today, we will be ready for the year-round growing season scientists expect Canada to experience in the year 2200! No other party in Canada has such vision, ladies and gentlemen!

Today, foreign-grown tomatoes have to be shipped and trucked to Canada in vehicles burning fossil fuels. Moreover, another plank in our national tomato strategy is to ban the use of bitumen-derived fertilizers, further reducing our carbon footprint to meet our Paris Agreement commitments! You know, friends, this is how the CPC can reduce Canada’s global carbon emissions without a carbon tax, and without industry-strangling regulations.

Stay tuned in coming days as we announce plans to expand our national agricultural products strategy to cover the entire fruit and vegetable industry: lettuce, cucumbers, peas and carrots, sweet corn, apples, pears, grapes, blueberries, etc … Together, we must do this so that producers in every region of Canada can benefit from agricultural marketing boards – not just dairy farmers in a small region of Quebec. There’s no reason why Canadians should be subject to food insecurity and low-quality foreign produce of any description!

Let me be clear, friends: this bold new national tomato strategy is fully in keeping with the fundamental conservative values of freedom, good stewardship of the environment, and innovation and entrepreneurship! It’s a winning strategy for the 21st century and beyond!

May God bless you, and may God continue to bless Canada!

[Sheer pulls a bottle of French’s ketchup from beneath the podium and squirts a generous dollop onto his P.E.I. fried potatoes. Taking a fistful and shoving them in his face, a splatter of ketchup falls just below his left dimple, as he smiles broadly.]

CBC NewsNet, September 19, 2019

The astonishingly diverse Michael Serapio: We now join the CPC campaign in Summerside, P.E.I.

 [Andrew Sheer, behind a podium adorned with the caption “Creating Quality Jobs for Canadians,” addresses the crowd.]

Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you. Thank you. Friends… Thank you.

Friends, today the CPC is announcing a bold new initiative to enhance food quality and availability for Canadians from coast to coast to coast! If elected, we pledge to establish the Potato Marketing Board as part of our national potato strategy…


One Comment

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  1. Glad to see that! Have growers around Ottawa and hard to find their produce in stores. Would be nice to support Canadians for a change. Thanks

Grant Brown

Grant A. Brown has a DPhil from Oxford University in political philosophy, and an LL.B. from the University of Alberta. He taught in the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge in the 1990s; practiced family law in Edmonton in the 2000s; and is currently a proprietor of a B&B in Stratford, Ontario. His most recent publication is _Ideology and Dysfunction in Family Law_ (co-produced by the Canadian Constitution Foundation and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, 2014).
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