The Federal Conservative's Agriculture Critic isn't getting far with his push for an emergency debate on the canola issue.

Luc Berthold says the Liberals blocked his request for a debate in the House of Commons twice on Monday, and on twitter Tuesday morning, he says they've blocked his ask again.

berthold tweet apr 2

Berthold says it's been a month since they first started asking the Government to act on this political issue with China.

"Now they're (the Government) just answering the same thing that China argued there is a pest in the canola there. We know already that industry and the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) have told us this is not true," he said. "It looks like we are just turning around the real issue on this file. That's frustrating."

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has sent a letter to her Chinese counterpart requesting to send a high-level delegation to China led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency President, along with her team of plant health experts.

Berthold says although he appreciates the President's credibility, they were hoping a politician like Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland would go.

"I think we must send a high-level politician also. I don't believe only trying to argue with China about the science and about how good our canola is will solve the problem as fast as we must solve it."

The House of Commons Ag Committee meets on Tuesday, April 2 where members will hear from Richardson International, Viterra, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canola Council of Canada.

On Friday, March 29, the Opposition members of the Ag Committee pushed to also have the Agriculture, International Trade and Foreign Affairs Ministers testify at the meeting.

However, Liberal members blocked the attempt with their majority, saying Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Minister Jim Carr are already scheduled to attend the International Trade Committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Berthold says they need Bibeau to also come to an Ag Committee meeting to address the issues farmers are facing.

"Not just the trade one, but the real one of the ground. What that means for farmers to face that kind of crisis, and I don't think the Trade Committee will be able to do that."

He says they'll continue to ask Bibeau to appear before the "right" committee.

 

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