The review of the Canada Grain Act is on people’s minds these days, and was identified as a government priority in Budget 2019.
Recent reports based on the speculation of unnamed sources have pointed to disunity and division in the Canadian Grain Commission on the review and the value of our services. We would like to set the record straight.
The Government of Canada has made a commitment to modernize Canada’s regulatory frameworks across a number of areas, including the grain sector. As part of these efforts, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will launch a review of the Canada Grain Act. AAFC is in the early stages of scoping the review, and has just begun to engage with the sector.
As commissioners, we support a review and modernization of the Canada Grain Act. There have been a series of attempts made in recent decades to comprehensively update the act, and none has been entirely completed. Beyond that, what we have said and will continue to say is that we need to do our homework before drawing conclusions on how the act should evolve. This is a significant policy discussion and everyone in the grains and oilseeds value chain, from farmers to exporters, needs the opportunity to weigh in on the options and their implications.
We recognize that this review will generate public discussion about the value of the Canadian Grain Commission’s programs and services, and scrutiny regarding our role, our responsibilities and relationships in the grain sector. While the Canadian Grain Commission is not the lead on the review, we will actively support the review process together. We will focus our efforts on supporting AAFC to conduct balanced research and carry out discussions with the entire value chain. The government commitment to review the Canada Grain Act is an opportunity for stakeholders across the sector to shape our regulatory framework for years to come.
Throughout this process, we will do our utmost to support dedicated and talented CGC employees. We have been struck by the work and professionalism of staff, each and every day. Our grain inspectors go through a rigorous four-year program before they become responsible for certifying export cargoes or handle grain disputes for farmers. Our scientists play a critical role in evaluating the quality of new crop varieties, to ensure they meet the quality standards for which Canadian farmers are known. Our support teams are dedicated to ensuring the organization is managed with the utmost efficiency while meeting Government of Canada standards.
We are united and fully committed in our support to them, and are very proud of what they accomplish in support of the Canada brand.
Assistant Chief Commissioner