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Face to Face Needed for Results: Not Hope

Posted On 2022-04-05 00:00:00


April 05, 2022

Face to Face Needed for Results: Not Hope

Joint press release from the Hon. Candice Bergen, P.C., M.P., Natural Resource Critic and the Hon. Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P., International Trade Critic both members of the Canada-China Legislative Association regarding Canadian canola exports and China’s new foreign material standard.

OTTAWA – Part of the bilateral meetings last week in China saw the Canada-China Legislative Association (CCLA) meet with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) on dockage issues related to canola.

When the federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay was asked last month about the new standards fast approaching, he stated to media: “Hopefully, it will be resolved.” He admitted that no Canadian minister had yet discussed the issue with a Chinese counterpart, adding that communication is between CFIA and AQSIQ officials.

“I found it ridiculous when I heard the Minister’s approach was hands off and that a resolution was based on hope,” said Gerry Ritz. “We have faced these non-tariff trade barriers before, whether it’s with maximum residue limits or low level presence, these matters take face to face meetings to resolve and can’t be done through embassies and bureaucrats,” added MP Ritz.

The current standard for allowable dockage is between 2.0 to 2.5 per cent in canola shipments exported from Canada to China, with the new 1 per cent standard scheduled to begin on April 1st. The change was due to unfounded concerns of the possible transmission of blackleg disease. However, the Canola Council of Canada says there is no significant risk of spreading the disease through foreign material.

“It was a meeting we pushed hard for and that needed to happen since the AQSIQ announced the change in rules for foreign material standards in canola,” said Candice Bergen. “These decisions need to be made using international science based standards and we needed to make that point on behalf of Canadian farmers,” stated MP Bergen.

Since last week’s productive meeting between the CCLA and AQSIQ, authorities have agreed to a September 1st implementation date instead, allowing the Canola Council more time for research to confirm its position.



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