Premier Scott Moe tells Trudeau Sask. farmers 'need an answer' on cash advances for canola

Decision on Saskatchewan carbon tax court challenge to come Friday

Premier Scott Moe is pressuring the federal government to enact proposed changes that would make it easier for canola  farmers affected by Canada's trade dispute with China to get cash advances. 

In a letter dated Tuesday, Moe said he had initially been impressed that the federal government "seemed prepared to act quickly" on the issue. But, Moe said, now he is concerned the feds have "offered no concrete support" for canola producers.

"We're running out of time," Moe said in an interview Tuesday. 

"Our Saskatchewan producers and western Canadian producers are lined up at the edge of the field, and in the southern areas are actually in the field, and it's time for our federal government to make a decision if they truly want to move forward and support this industry."

Moe said this is in no way a full solution to the issue facing canola producers now, it's merely a small boost to help ease some of the side effects.

"We need to have diplomats, have scientific officials on the ground in China engaging with the Chinese on the importance of our products, our good clean canola products coming into that market," he said.

The proposed changes include an increase to the ceiling for the Advance Payments Program to $1,000,000 per account, with the full amount being interest-free. A deadline extension to April 30th was also proposed for the spring intake.

Moe also said in the letter that Saskatchewan is prepared to offer assistance in any diplomatic or scientific solutions on the canola issue. 

Moe posted the letter on Twitter, saying "Our farmers need an answer now."