House trade committee plans canola hearing Thursday

The standing committee on international trade held a rare Sunday meeting yesterday to address the pressing issue of canola trade into China.

There was no disagreement that the revocation of Richardson’s export licence to sell canola into China is a matter of concern to all Canadians.

Committee members eventually voted in favour of a motion that would see officials from the agriculture and trade departments appear before the committee on Thursday. Industry officials may also appear.

They also agreed that the ministers of agriculture and international trade would appear the week of April 1.

Conservative and NDP members argued that the minister of foreign affairs should also appear because Canada currently has no ambassador to China, and Chrystia Freeland is handling the negotiations.

However, the Liberal majority on the committee proposed and agreed to an amendment to have only the two ministers.

The opposition also suggested that time is of the essence in trying to resolve this issue and that the ministers should appear earlier rather than later.

Committee chair Mark Eyking said he would do his best to have the ministers at committee as soon as possible.


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