Less than a week into the job, Canada's new agriculture minister is dealing with a major issue.

Marie-Claude Bibeau says her top priority is dealing with China's decision to halt canola shipments coming from Richardson International.

She gave some insight on why the shipments were stopped.

"Apparently it's because they have found some irregularities, if I may say, within the latest shipment and this is why we are working with the CFIA to understand exactly what they found and to compare with our own analysis that we have done before the shipment left Canada for China," commented Bibeau.

Canadian Canola Growers Association CEO Rick White says they want to see this situation resolved as quickly as possible.

"China is one of our big customers, a very important customer of ours and at the end of the day we want trade to go there. We put in about 4.5 million tonnes of canola into that market now and we as farmers just cannot afford to have any disruption to that market. We rely heavily on it for canola sales."

He says this could have a major impact on the Canadian economy as a whole.

"It's not only a concern to canola farmers but the canola industry and Canadians as well, that this could have a significant impact on jobs and value added to the Canadian economy and if that starts to erode over time that should be of concern for all Canadians."

Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) President Bill Campbell talked about how this latest development could impact spring seeding decisions.

"The biggest thing is the uncertainty and as we get closer to that window of seeding, we're probably still six weeks to two months away, but everybody's doing their budgets, everybody's getting their seed, putting their fertilizer requirements in place. They have a rotation planned and thought out. This just places all of that in jeopardy."

Total canola shipments into China value about $2.5 billion dollars per year.

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