End of pork ban not an end to bul­ly­ing

Simcoe Reformer - - FRONT PAGE -

It is un­re­servedly good news that Cana­dian pork and beef pro­duc­ers now have re­newed ac­cess to China’s mar­ket. Ac­cord­ing to busi­ness news out­let Bloomberg, Canada shipped half a bil­lion dol­lars in pork to China last year.

This is a mar­ket that mat­ters and Cana­di­ans should breathe a sigh of re­lief that the five­month-long ban has con­cluded.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an­nounced the news on so­cial me­dia Tues­day, adding: “Thanks to Am­bas­sador (Do­minic) Bar­ton and the Cana­dian meat in­dus­try for their work on re-open­ing this im­por­tant mar­ket for our meat pro­duc­ers and their fam­i­lies.”

It would be nice if it were true that the work of Am­bas­sador Bar­ton and the in­dus­try were mostly re­spon­si­ble for this change in pol­icy on the part of the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

But don’t count on it.

China has been turn­ing the screws on Canada for the past year fol­low­ing the ar­rest of Huawei chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Meng Wanzhou, who is be­ing held in Van­cou­ver on gen­er­ous bail con­di­tions.

The pork and beef ban was just one in a long string of ac­tions and in­sults taken against the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment by the lead­er­ship in Beijing.

Why turn this one around now?

China has lost more than 100 mil­lion pigs due to African swine flu. This has se­ri­ously harmed the sup­ply of pop­u­lar pork prod­ucts.

There is good rea­son to be­lieve that the lift­ing of the ban had lit­tle to do with their at­ti­tude to­ward Canada and more to do with ap­peas­ing con­sumers who seek pork prod­ucts.

Be­sides, the canola ban that was im­ple­mented be­fore the meat ban re­mains in place.

The truth is China is still bul­ly­ing Canada. The ar­bi­trary de­ten­tion of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spa­vor is about to reach its one year an­niver­sary.

While they are held in poor con­di­tions, Meng Wanzhou walks freely around Van­cou­ver as she ren­o­vates her new lux­ury prop­erty.

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