REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he will travel to Europe later this week to discuss food and energy security during a trade mission.
Although the trip was planned before Russia invaded Ukraine, Moe said the war highlighted the need for Canada to replace certain exports to the European Union, such as potash, uranium and agri-food products.
“Food security, around energy is of the utmost importance to everyone in the world. And what is on full display in Europe is what can happen when you find yourself in a position where you buy a number of your products from a country like Russia,” Moe said Monday.
“We are proposing that many of these products can actually be purchased in Canada and, in many cases, in Saskatchewan.”
Moe said he will travel to the UK and Germany, where he will be joined by business leaders and organisations, and they will also engage with the financial sector in London.
A spokesman for the prime minister said his itinerary will be finalized in the coming days.
The province recently established a trade office in the UK, but trade missions have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moe said he hoped to induce the European Union to use more Saskatchewan staples, for which demand has increased.
“At the end of the day, we have a great story to tell here in Saskatchewan and we will soon be telling it overseas.”
Last week, Saskatchewan-based Nutrien said it was increasing its potash production by about 20% in response to supply uncertainty from Eastern Europe as the invasion of Ukraine by Russia continues.
The company said it would increase production of the key fertilizer ingredient by nearly a million tonnes and hire more workers at its potash mines in the province.
Saskatchewan uranium company Cameco also said it would restart two mines this year after spot uranium prices for 2021 rose nearly 40% to their highest level in nine years. .
Moe added that a work stoppage at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which began on Sunday, could potentially damage Saskatchewan industries at the worst possible time, particularly the potash, uranium and oil sectors. Agriculture.
Moe joined farm groups in calling on the federal government to use back-to-work legislation to restart CP trains. He also wants the federal government to classify rail workers as essential workers.
“For us, it’s not about CP, the company. It’s not about the unions. It’s about the people who work and drive the trains and make sure we have that service. “, said Moe.
Saskatchewan’s Department of Justice is also reviewing the options it has to ensure trains continue to deliver products to market, Moe said.
“If there is this long, extended outage that will cause Saskatchewan – very much on the international stage – damage to its reputation as a sustainable supplier of potash, uranium and agri-food products…it’s is a problem for us.”
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 21, 2022.