Farmers urge Ottawa to quickly resolve canola seed dispute with China

Farmers are urging Ottawa to quickly resolve the trade dispute with China over Canadian canola seed.

Alberta canola producer Stephen Vandervalk told the Commons agriculture committee that the canola dispute, and others affecting trade with India, Saudi Arabia, Italy and other countries, are hobbling the agriculture sector from reaching its production goals.

He says the combined potential loss through export losses to those countries is staggering.

He says Canada can feed the world but not unless Canada acts on farmers' behalfs, removing trade barriers and political roadblocks.

Another farmer wondered how they can meet expanded production targets without healthy trade deals.

Several producers told two parliamentary committees that China's recent rejection of Canadian canola-seed shipments is only the latest trade disruption that's hurt the country's agriculture sector.

Citing concerns about pests, China has rejected canola-seed imports from Canada and has suspended the licences of two major Canadian exporters.

The moves to cut off the critical Canadian export have been widely viewed as China applying economic pressure on Canada in response to the December arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the United States.