The 114th annual Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) convention opened Tuesday at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon.
A common theme among association delegates on the day arose from concerns with the trade embargo placed against Canada’s largest canola export company by China.
“Canola prices have dropped already; the outlook for canola, the future for canola is under a lot of pressure right now and we think that’s a real big problem,” SARM president Ray Orb said.
“The profits from canola are what keeps our Saskatchewan farms viable.”
WATCH BELOW: Tension with China grows with blows to Canadian canola farmers.
Orb is also looking to the federal government to step in and help reassure those who are involved in the canola industry.
“Ottawa has to come to us and say ‘this is our plan to restore some confidence in the market.’ People need confidence when they’re seeding crops, that they’ll be able to sell that crop and that the price will rebound,” Orb said.
“It’s a product that’s been proven to be safe around the world, to be good for people to use, whether it’s oil or meal; a very safe product, and we need to promote that.”
The other prominent topic of conversation revolved around the impending carbon tax, which will have an immediate effect in rural Saskatchewan.
“The fuel consumption, whether it’s road repair work; we have a lot of machinery that operates outside, especially in cold winter climate. We use a lot of fuel so the price increase alone from that will increase,” Orb said.