Send Chretien to crack China’s coldness?

It was a nostalgic feeling last week to hear the names “Mulroney” and “Chretien” being batted around in the national news again, connected with each other. The former Prime Ministers weren’t fighting, but rather Brian Mulroney was said to be lobbying present PM Justin Trudeau to dispatch Jean Chretien to China to try to fix […] Read more

if farmers are designing their operations to be multi-decade factories to produce crops and animals for booming Chinese demand, they need to keep in mind that this booming demand might never appear.  |  REUTERS/Aly Song photo

China: Dangerous Assumptions

In the long run, what kind of future will farmers face?

“In the long run we are all dead.” This line by British economist John Maynard Keynes highlights the silliness of looking too far out in the future and concluding that everything’s OK if it works out they way we think it eventually will. People live in the here and now, and accepting terrible conditions today […] Read more

Getting it wrong on China, Canada and trade

If prime ministers were wrong, when were they wrong?

Perhaps Canadian prime ministers, both Liberal and Conservative, have been wrong about China, Canada and trade. But when were they wrong? I’ve criticized both former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and present Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for saying critical or provocative things to or about China, and thereby undermining efforts to build a bigger […] Read more


China’s making enemies across Canada’s political spectrum

Instead of convincing Canadians to quake, Chinese trade truculence and abuse of Canadian citizens is hardening attitudes towards it

I was quite surprised to hear Conservative leader Andrew Scheer last night announcing a foreign policy approach that is more anti-China than much I’ve heard in recent years. “We should engage in a way that how our values and our interest are in many respects incompatible with those of the Chinese government,” said Scheer in […] Read more

What’s a farmer to do about China?

Get out and grow the best crop you can grow: that's the farmer's best bet

What’s a farmer to do about China and all the uncertainty it has created for the crop farmers are only now seeding? What can a farmer do? There’s not much any individual farmer can do, obviously. There’s also not much farm organizations can do. There’s not much provincial governments can do. And China’s making it […] Read more


Sick of talking about China?

Me too, but we're going to keep doing it

Put your hand up if you’re sick of talking about China all the time. Yup, as I suspected, there are lots of hands up out there in Readerland. How about this: If you’re sick of talking about China and you know it, clap your hands! Knew it. Lots of clapping out there. Heck, I’m sick […] Read more

A loan is OK for now . . .

But if the China dispute lingers, farmers will deserve cash compensation

It seems obviously a good thing that the federal government today quintupled the interest-free Cash Advance program to $500,000 and ramped-up the prime rate portion to a total of $1 million combined. I say “obviously” because I know from writing about cash advances last year that they are a topic that gets farmers fired up. […] Read more

China’s ban of Canadian canola imports is widely seen as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the founder of telecom giant Huawei, at the behest of the United States. | Robin Booker photo

BLOG: Canada-China relationship was getting cozy before Meng detention

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire for the deteriorating Canada-China relationship, but his misstep may have been to be too accommodating to the Asian superpower. The Canada-U.S. relationship hit a low when President Donald Trump imposed U.S. tariffs on Canadian steel due to “national security concerns,” forced Canada into impromptu and brutal negotiations for […] Read more


Answers to farming challenges not as easy as outsiders assume

Whether it's dealing with China or soil, farmers have to manage in the real world

Uh-oh! China shut the border to Canadian canola. What should a farmer do? Easy! Just don’t grow canola this year. That’s what some people who don’t know much about real-world farming might think, after hearing that a third Canadian canola exporter has been told their license to ship to China has been yanked. How should […] Read more

It's no longer just Richardson International that's prevented from selling Canadian canola to China. | File photo

China drops the other shoe – on Canadian canola

Not much for Canada to do but carry on building new markets

It looks like China has dropped the other shoe, after first treading into the trade war area three weeks ago. China stops buying Canadian canola. It’s no longer just Richardson International that’s prevented from selling Canadian canola to China. While the Chinese customs authority does not appear to have explicitly banned Canada’s canola from being […] Read more