The President of Pulse Canada is optimistic there won’t be any disruptions to the flow of products to India, despite ongoing tensions between India and Canada.
Greg Cherewyk believes that based on connections made over the past 30 years.
“The people-to-people ties, the business-to-business ties, and even the industry-to-industry relationships that we’ve developed at Pulse Canada, they’re quite strong so we have a network of people that we can work with that will help us manage through anything that might come up over time.” Cherewyk said.
His comment comes as tensions between the two countries have been high for months.
Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadian intelligence services were investigating “credible” information about a potential link between the Indian government and the murder of B.C. Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June. India had accused Canada of harbouring “terrorists” and separatists.
Prior to that, an October 9 trade mission to India to be led by International Trade Minister Mary Ng was postponed and no explaination as to why was given at the time.
Both nations then expelled a top diplomat from each country, as well as India wanting Canada to reduce the number of diplomats to match the amount India has in Canada.
Cherewyk, however, remains optimistic that demand for products, such as lentils, will stay strong.
“Every country around the world is contending with the same issues when it comes to food price inflation, in particular the cost of staple sources of protein are an important thing in countries that we service, so affordability is really important and availability year-round of these staple sources of protein is important.
“For those reasons and because we have such strong relationships with the trade in that country, we don’t have any particular concerns at this point.” he said.
Cherewyk would obviously like to see tensions ease and have both countries resolve their issues.
“Anytime there’s a diplomatic tension between our government and a government in a market that we serve it can create some uncertainty, and uncertainty, generally speaking, isn’t good for business,” he said. “At the end of the day…the farmers that sit around our table, and the members of the trade that sit around our table, are 100 percent committed to markets like India.
“The reality is these farmers are producing food and producing stable foods and they see it as being an absolute priority to ensure that the food they grow is made available to people who need it 365 days a year, and they expect that will be kept seperate from any other issues that need to be resolved by governments.”
Bi-lateral trade in goods between Canada and India reached $12-billion in 2022, a 57 percent increase from the previous year, according to numbers from the federal government.