The Chinese canola issue was a key topic of discussion at this week’s Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Annual Convention.

International Trade Minister Jim Carr spoke Thursday at the convention about China’s decision to suspend canola shipments from Richardson International.

“China says there are imperfections in this Canola and we have said show us, prove it to us, where’s the evidence? We’re pushing hard at the officials level through the Canadian Embassy in Beijing and through the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa so that if there is a problem we can resolve it quickly. This is not the first time that we have had an issue about Canola with the Chinese, you’ll remember Blackleg. We can work through these issues if they're real … show us the evidence … if they're not real, let’s move on.”

SARM President Ray Orb says he wouldn’t say he’s pleased but under the circumstances, the federal government is trying to resolve the issue.

“We think they need to go to China to talk with Chinese officials about this. We think the Federal Agriculture Minister needs to go, Minister Carr himself needs to go, and also Minister Freeland needs to go. Minister Freeland knows the issue because her father was a Canola farmer so she understands the issue. We think this may be the only way this gets resolved.”

It’s not the first time we’ve had an issue with China about Canola, the last impasse was over dockage levels and blackleg back in 2016.

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