Good morning. It’s James Keller here in Calgary.
The Canadian meat industry is the latest to be hit with trade restrictions from China, amid increasingly tense relations since the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
The Chinese embassy announced yesterday that the country had suspended all Canadian meat imports. A statement from the embassy alleges Chinese customs officials detected residue from a restricted feed additive called ractopamine in a batch of Canadian pork products. The additive has permitted uses in Canada but is banned in China.
The Chinese embassy says it has asked the Canadian government to suspend all meat export certificates, calling the move temporary.
The federal government says the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency identified an issue with “inauthentic export certificates” and is taking steps to address it.
China is a significant importer of Canadian meat. From January to April of this year, for example, China had imported $310-million in Canadian pork, or about 22 per cent of all Canadian pork exports, and nearly $64-million worth of Canadian beef products, or about 6 per cent of all beef exports.
China has also stopped imports of Canadian canola and has suspended export permits for three pork producers.
Relations between Canada and China have deteriorated since Ms. Meng was arrested at the Vancouver airport late last year at the request of the U.S. government.
The Americans are seeking her extradition over allegations that a Huawei subsidiary violated trade sanctions on Iran. She has been charged in the United States with bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor and sentenced another Canadian to death in an apparent attempt to press for Ms. Meng’s release.
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Around the West:
Western premiers: The premiers of British Columbia and Alberta will meet face-to-face this week for the first time since Premier Jason Kenney came to office in Edmonton. Mr. Kenney and B.C. Premier John Horgan will attend a meeting of Western premiers in the Alberta capital. Mr. Kenney has targeted Mr. Horgan and his government with an ad campaign blaming the B.C. premier for high gas prices and threats to cut off oil shipments. The two provinces are also engaged in multiple legal battles related to the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Solitary confinement: B.C.'s Appeal Court has upheld a ruling that struck down Canada’s solitary confinement law. The court’s unanimous decision concludes laws allowing for “prolonged and indefinite use of administrative segregation” violate inmates’ Charter rights and offend “the fundamental norms of a free and democratic society.”
World Petroleum Congress: Calgary will host the 2023 World Petroleum Congress, a victory that is seen as a much-needed pick-me-up for the province’s struggling oil industry.
Indigenous language: An international conference on Indigenous languages in Victoria this week is expected to highlight the plight of First Nations languages in Canada that are facing extinction. Organizers estimate about 1,000 delegates from 20 countries will be at the conference, including those with knowledge of almost all of the Indigenous languages in B.C.
Mountain Equipment Co-op: Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Vancouver flagship is the first of the retailers’ stores to enter collective bargaining, as workers seek higher wages, improved scheduling and better working conditions. The negotiations come after staff at the Vancouver location unionized in a drive they say faced pushback from management at the Canadian outdoor-goods seller. The company says it has complied with labour laws.
Carbon tax: Saskatchewan’s legal challenge of the federal carbon tax is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada in December. The high court set a date for arguments that pushes the issue past the federal election. Ontario and Alberta have launched similar cases after Saskatchewan.
Shakespeare in Love: Looking for something to do? Check out Marsha Lederman’s three-star review of Shakespeare in Love from Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach.