Deadline to apply for Canadian Grain Commission executive positions extended

The jobs involve lots of travel in and outside of Canada and good salaries

You still have time to apply for one of the top jobs at the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC).

The deadline to apply for the positions of commissioner, assistant chief commissioner and chief commissioner has been extended to Oct. 3 from Aug. 17.

Although all three positions are appointed by the federal cabinet, those interested in the positions have to apply and some will be interviewed before the final people are chosen.

The commissioners oversee CGC operations. The CGC is a federal government agency that reports to Parliament through the minister of agriculture.

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A big part of the CGC’s role is grain quality control, which underlies Canada’s reputation for delivering high-quality grain.

The jobs involve lots of travel in and outside of Canada and good salaries. Commissioner and assistant chief commissioner pay ranges from $142,800 to $168,000 a year. The chief commissioner earns $230,800 to $271,500.

Appointees have to live in Winnipeg — the CGC’s headquarters — or within commuting distance.

Incumbent commissioner Murdoch MacKay and assistant chief commissioner Jim Smolik, have applied. Their current terms expire Dec. 5 and Nov. 25, respectively.

The chief commissioner’s position was vacated Jan. 20 by Elwin Hermanson.

Traditionally commissioners have come from one of the western provinces and have been farmers or a member of the grain trade, giving the grain sector, including farmers, confidence the CGC understands industry and farmer needs.

“As set out in the Canada Grain Act, the Canadian Grain Commission’s mandate is to, in the interests of producers, establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain and regulate grain handling in Canada to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets,” the government says in its posting for a new chief commissioner.

The government has a long list of qualifications for would-be commissioners. These include “experience in maintaining effective relationships with, and balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders with divergent views. Demonstrated experience in decision-making with respect to sensitive and complex issues, significant management experience at the senior executive level in private or public sector organizations. Experience in a private or public sector organization with diverse technical and regulatory responsibility would be considered an asset, and experience in the production and handling of grain, as well as experience in dealing with the transportation, marketing and processing of grain would be considered assets.”

The government is also seeking candidates with diversity.

“Preference may be given to candidates who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, indigenous peoples, disabled persons, and members of visible minorities,” the government’s website says.

About the author


Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.



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