OTTAWA — The federal government is again being urged to halt trade talks with Brazil after another summer of record-breaking fires in the Amazon rainforest.
New data from Brazil's own space agency show the fire devastation in the rainforest even worse this year than in 2019, when 30 per cent more of the forest was destroyed compared to the year before.
Greenpeace Canada nature and food campaign manager Reykia Fick says a year ago Canada refused to cut off the trade talks underway since 2018 with the Mercosur region, of which Brazil is the biggest member.
She says a second year of terrible fires is more proof of the devastating impact Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's policies are having on the environment and the rainforest is too critical to the planet for Canada not to take a stand.
She says a report from the Brazilian agricultural federation earlier this summer claimed a trade deal with Canada could see meat exports to Canada grow by US$1.4 billion a year, and meat, particularly cattle ranches, is believed to be a chief reason the forest is being burned.
Ryan Nearing, press secretary to International Trade Minister Mary Ng, says no new rounds of trade talks have been held in the last year and any trade deal would have to have enforceable environmental protections.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2020.
The Canadian Press