Lethbridge MLA Wants Feds to Right the Ship Fast on Canola Exports to China

The Richardson Plant in Lethbridge. Photo credit to Richardson International Ltd.

Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips says the federal government needs to understand the impacts China's decision has for southern Alberta and get this fixed in a hurry.

Alberta's NDP government wants something done quickly to get canola shipments to China back on track.

Earlier this week, China revoked the export permit of Richardson International. The Canadian company, which operates a major processing facility here in Lethbridge, sends 30% of its Alberta canola to the Chinese market each year.

Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips says the federal government needs to get this fixed. "We know they (federal government) have been distracted by other matters and we know they think Quebec jobs are important. That's fine, but southern Alberta jobs, livelihoods, and farm families are just as important, so we expect this to get the full attention of the federal government."

The province notes Alberta farmers and workers stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars and up to 3,000 jobs if this is not resolved.

Phillips spoke Wednesday (Mar. 6) at her Lethbridge constituency office. "We have an expanded oilseeds crushing facility here in Lethbridge. From what I understand if farmers can't export their seed, they can send it to a crusher. So the fact Richardson had the faith in this community to invest another $120 million in its local operations a couple of years ago (2016) to make it more efficient, that's a good thing. The fact is producers need more certainty than that and we need this federal government to step up."

A statement from Premier Rachel Notley states, "We are calling on Ottawa to stop its navel-gazing about its internal controversies and fight back."

Shannon Phillips: 

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