Edmonton, AB (March 11, 2019): The United Conservative Party Caucus issued the following statement, following news that on March 6, 2019 China placed an embargo on canola imports from Richardson International Ltd. on allegations the shipments contained harmful organisms. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency denies the allegations. Richardson has Alberta operations in Vermilion, Provost, Oyen, Sterling, Nobleford, Lethbridge, Vulcan, Carseland, Olds, Three Hills, Camrose, Lamont, Waskatenau, Rycroft, and Fairview.
“We know Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland took a jar of canola from her father’s fields in the Peace Country to China in 2016 to personally promote the product. This attack on Alberta and Canadian farmers and Richardson International is beyond a diplomatic maneuver, it’s a personal attack by China against our top diplomat,” said Glenn van Dijken, UCP Agriculture critic and MLA for Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock. “I’m a canola farmer myself. I understand how devastating this news is for farm families right across this Province.”
“We demand Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, and International Trade Minister Jim Carr stand up for our province and our country on the world stage and negotiate an end to China’s unfair trade practices,” said Devin Dreeshen, UCP Trade critic and MLA for Innisfail – Sylvan Lake.
China is Alberta’s #2 trading partner, taking $3.9 billion worth of goods annually including 70 per cent of Alberta’s canola and canola oil exports, worth $1.3 billion annually.
According to the Canola Council of Canada, China is the #1 vegetable oil consumer in the world and annually imports over $3.6 billion worth of canola seed, oil, and meal from Canada.