The Globe and Mail
April 22, 2019
For months, both Canadian citizens and a key part of the Canadian economy have been held hostage by China. After Canada’s detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, Beijing responded; for nearly 150 days, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig have been jailed, denied legal representation, forced to endure sleep deprivation and, in the case of the latter, had his diplomatic immunity abused as an on-leave Canadian foreign-service officer. Beijing then claimed that our canola is infected by pests. That canola embargo is a double whammy: It cuts our current market in half, and also sows doubt among Canadians about our health and safety standards.
If the Trudeau government continues to let this pass without response, we can expect the Chinese to ratchet up the pressure. Our beef, pork and seafood could be next. It’s due time for more muscular action.
To address the canola embargo, we need to implement a food chain and inspection system that is the best in the world. We need to show foreign customers and Canadians alike that our food is of the highest quality and that “Made in Canada” is a signal of a premium brand.