NDP Agriculture and Agri-Food Critic, Alistair MacGregor and NDP International Trade Critic, Tracey Ramsey, issued the following statement:

“Canada’s hardworking canola farmers and our canola industry are in crisis. It is vital they not pay the price for Canada’s current diplomatic problems with China.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must step up to support our canola growers and take immediate action to open dialogue with China to resolve this issue. Spring seeding will soon be upon us, and farmers must know that they will have a reliable customer to buy their product. There is no time to lose. That is why the NDP called for the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food to be reconvened for an emergency meeting to address this issue of great importance to Canada’s agricultural sector. The committee is meeting on Friday, March 29th.

Canola growers are major contributors to our rural communities and are a vital component to our national economy, contributing $3.6 billion to our GDP. It is unacceptable that they have to pay the price for Canada’s strained relationship with China.

We call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do everything diplomatically possible to resolve the canola issue with China, including reaching out to Canada’s allies to put pressure on China. We also believe it is imperative for the Prime Minister’s Office to send a trade envoy to China to solve the canola seed ban, face-to-face.

Above all, we call on the Prime Minister to support our canola growers who are receiving the most significant hit from this diplomatic dispute.”