On June 4, 1989, Chinese government tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square in Beijing and crushed a student demonstration. Nearly 30 years later the Chinese government has “rolled over” another group of innocents – Canada’s canola farmers.
In March, China blocked imports of Canadian canola as part of a larger political tug-of-war with the U.S. Canola is a very big deal in Canada. A high-value cash crop, it contributes more than $26 billion to our economy every year. It supports Canadian 43,000 farmers directly and is tied to more than 250,000 jobs. More than half of our canola is grown in Saskatchewan, with Alberta and Manitoba also being large contributors. Smaller amounts are grown in B.C., Ontario and Quebec.
China has been our #1 market for canola, worth $2 billion annually. We sell enough canola to China every year to fill a train that stretches from Vancouver to Calgary.
China’s canola ban is part of a larger political and trade war that started in December with the arrest in Vancouver of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, in response to an extradition request from the U.S. government. China has retaliated by arresting several Canadian citizens in that country, and launching trade action. The canola ban was the first trade action, soon followed by restrictions and bottlenecks involving Canadian peas, soybeans and pork destined for China.
Our Prairie farmers are caught as pawns in a global conflict between China and the U.S. that has nothing to do with them. They are hurting as a result – real Canadian families suffering real harm.
To support the canola farmers, email the following people:
Ambassador Lu Shaye,
People’s Republic of China to Canada – Ottawa Region, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut.
Ambassador’s email address: chineseembassyca.@gmail.com
Chinese Embassy Media Relations: Chinaembpress@gmail.com
Chinese Embassy Economy and Trade Office: firstname.lastname@example.org