I have a question for Dr. Mithani.
Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada's former ambassador to China, said this week that he was concerned that the Canadian government wasn't adequately inspecting products imported from China, even though 23% of farmland in China is allegedly contaminated with heavy metals.
China has implemented, and is implementing, retaliatory measures against some of our products. Mr. Saint-Jacques said that Canada should respond by conducting more rigorous inspections of Chinese products that enter the country. The farming community often considers reciprocity of standards.
Mr. Saint-Jacques believes that Canada has been too timid and that there could be more benefits if the health and safety of Canadians were better ensured through inspections. In his opinion, China should be told, “If you want to play hardball, it's a two-player game.”
Do you recommend this tough approach? How could you prioritize the agency's resources to ensure that you have staff to monitor both the borders and the products in supermarkets?