China’s embargo on Canadian canola

Dear Editor:

After 40 years of farming, 20 of those years on the farmer elected advisory committee to the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and one term (the first term) on the Board of Directors who were to control the CWB, I thought I had heard and saw it all.

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I was at the table when embargoes were placed on Canadian grain for one reason or other, I saw the federal Government implement Ad Hoc piecemeal programs to help take the sting away when agriculture was financially hurt for so many different reasons. The worst of all that changed the prairie landscape was when USA started a trade war against the European Economic Community and Canada was seriously got in the cross fire on Wheat prices. That trade war appeared to last forever and almost bankrupt 1/3 of Western Canadian primary agriculture. I was at the table where I saw the rise and the disasterous fall of Farmer Owned Canadian Grain companies, the likes of UGG, MPE, AWP, and of course SWP which sometimes I still can’t believe it happened. Many today who exited their farms during that period are still being dogged by debts and judgements that carried forward with their names. I was also at the CWB table through those dark days when just about everyone turned on the CWB as the cause of there personal problems. I sometimes wish I could have kept footage of public meetings when individuals heaped UN-imaginable criticism on myself and others for the financial demise of their farms, personal bankruptcies, family breakdowns and even divorces and suicides where all pointed at, that the CWB was the reason why. People don’t care who or why a situation occurs all they want to do is blame someone for there own personal problems. And the Right -Wing Zealots of Western Canada led the way in the all out character attacks until they won the day with the Previous Harper Conservative Government to, sabotage and destroy the CWB, kill any essence of orderly marketing and single desk selling in Canada, take away from western Farmers the business contacts, the infrastructure, the contingency fund (which was in the millions and all Western Canadian Farmers Money) sell most of the assets for pennies on the dollar to a multi-national and place all the funds (I hope) to the general receipts of the Government of Canada.

So what has all this to do with the current situation of China refusing to buy Canadian Canola? Which is known as Canada’s Cinderella crop. Pretty much everything, let me explain. Firstly with China normally purchasing about 40 percent of Canada’s Canola, which amounts to billions of dollars of trade, it is no wonder the price is dropping faster then the Titanic sunk, and we may have not seen the bottom yet.

Does anyone wonder why Richardson Pioneer has been singled out in this new trade war?

Well in case you don’t know your facts, Richardson is one of the last of solely a Canadian Grain Company and as well a big player on the crushing side of Canola and canola meal. So this attack is on Canada, Canola is a Canadian oilseed developed from Rapeseed which was used for industrial oil, but Canadian plant scientist and pathologists worked endlessly to create one of the Worlds best, most popular and healthiests oils and rightfully so named it Canola as in Canadian Oil. The other multi-national companies who buy and sell canola in Canada can move this product to another Country of Origin and continue selling to China under a different disguise. This was done in the past when Canadian cereals where embargoed by certain Countries, The prices dropped in Canada to ridiculous amounts, but yet through multinationals that operated in our and other countries their exports to the country of question would go surprisingly up through one of their other country operations. However Western Canadian products may still be bought but at a much much lower price. Yes Cinderella may have just lost both her glass shoes in Canada.

So if this is a attack on our Canadian Government then we need a all out effort by the Trudeau Governemnt at this time to bring a sensible solution to a unrealistic situation. Please remember China does like and want our Canola Meal, and Canola both raw and manufactured But I would bet anything that talks have been and are going on now between Chinese importers and Canadian Multinationals as to how that product can be redirected through other countries of choice. Remember there is no maple leaf in shipments of Canola so games will be played.

So think about it how can western Canadian Farmers get strong action from the Trudeau Liberals?

I guess our Provincial Premiers could and should get the ball rolling, Oh that’s right most of them are fighting, and in Saskatchewan’s case in courts with the Federal Government over the introduction of a carbon tax. Oh well back in the day this would somehow be turned into a “its the CWB’s fault that this has happened”. So who can we blame now??

Micheal G.W. Halyk
Melville, SK.

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