Manitoba’s agriculture minister is weighing in on the canola trade dispute with China.

Ralph Eichler said resolving the situation will take more than a technical delegation to China.

“We need some more data to see what’s missing in this equation,” he told CTV News.

READ MORE:  Feds looking at sending delegation to China over canola ban

Eichler said China receives more than $350 million worth of canola from Manitoba and the dispute will hurt local producers.

Ottawa created a working group which includes two companies hit by export bands, Richardson International and Viterra, as well as the Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan governments.

Eichler said it’s a good first step, but he also wants a full trade delegation to go to China.

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“We’re more than just canola. We’re an export province, we’re an export country and we have to build that relationship going forward. We need a new ambassador to China, certainly we haven’t had one since January,” he said.

Winnipeg-based Richardson International had its canola export permit to China revoked because of alleged pests.

READ MORE:  Richardson International barred from shipping canola to China

Viterra was blocked from exporting canola in late March because China said several hazardous organisms were found.

There’s speculation the ban may be connected to the arrest of Huawei’s senior executive in Vancouver.