The Council of the Federation Calls on Countries to Reverse the Ban on Canadian Pork



    OTTAWA, May 13 /CNW Telbec/ - The Council of the Federation met by
conference call on May 11, 2009 to discuss the urgent situation facing
Canadian pork producers following the ban on imports of Canadian pork by China
and several other countries.
    The conference call took place at the request of Alberta Premier Ed
Stelmach.
    "Canadian pork products are safe," said Stelmach. "We are dismayed that
countries like China and Russia are making decisions to ban pork imports
without scientific justification. Provinces and territories want countries to
base their trade decisions on scientifically supported facts, and there are no
facts that would support the banning of pork products."
    The Council of the Federation noted that on May 2, 2009, four global
organizations dealing with human and animal health and international trade
matters the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization
for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World
Trade Organization (WTO) formally stated that "there is no evidence that the
virus is transmitted by food" and that, therefore, there "is no justification
... for the imposition of trade measures on the importation of pigs or their
products."
    The Council of the Federation also strongly supports the May 7, 2009
statement of the three NAFTA Trade Ministers to the effect that they are
prepared to take action to prevent the enforcement of scientifically
unjustified restrictions on Canadian exports and urges the federal Ministers
of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Agriculture and Agri-Food to adopt
a joint strategy and aggressively press countries that have banned pork
imports to counteract any misinformation about Canadian pork and pork products
and the H1N1 virus. The Council of the Federation offers any assistance it can
provide in the development and implementation of this strategy.
    Premiers have demonstrated their confidence in Canadian pork products by
maintaining the promotion of pork within their own provinces and territories.
    BC Premier Campbell was unable to participate in the conference call due
to the provincial election.

    The Council of the Federation is comprised of all 13 provincial and
territorial Premiers. It enables Premiers to work collaboratively to
strengthen the Canadian federation by fostering a constructive relationship
among the provinces and territories, and with the federal government.




For further information:

For further information: Hugo D'Amours, Press Secretary, Office of the
Premier of Québec, (418) 643-5321, hugo.damours@mce.gouv.qc.ca; Loretta
O'Connor, Executive Director, Council of the Federation Secretariat, (613)
563-4066, Loretta@councilofthefederation.ca


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