Ottawa, Ontario, October 18, 2012 - Today, as part of the Jobs and Growth Act, 2012, the Harper Government introduced amendments to the Canada Grain Act, the first substantial changes in more than forty years. These amendments will streamline and modernize the operations of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), reduce the regulatory burden for grain producers, and eliminate about $20 million annually in unnecessary costs from the grain handling system-costs that are ultimately borne by farmers.
"We are helping our farmers and the grain industry continue to fuel our economy and remain competitive both at home and abroad," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Through these changes, the Harper Government is delivering on its commitment to modernize the grain sector and grow Canada's competitive advantage, which will boost the economy for all Canadians."
These proposed revisions to the Canada Grain Act are part of the Harper Government's modernization of grain policy in Canada, including the passage of the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, strengthened support of research and market development, and the implementation of the Government's response to the Rail Freight Service Review earlier this year. Together, these initiatives reflect the Government's vision of innovation, competitiveness, and market development for Canada's agriculture sector.
These changes to the Act will streamline the operations of the CGC and eliminate redundant or unnecessary services, such as inward inspection, that are no longer required in a modern grain industry. These amendments will improve the CGC's producer payment protection program by creating the opportunity to move to a new insurance-based system, where licensing costs may be reduced and protection coverage improved.
The CGC's role in grain quality and safety assurance, research, market access, and producer protection will continue. To ensure the financial stability of the organization, the Government will also update the CGC's user fees, which have not changed in more than 20 years.
The proposed changes to the Act are based on feedback from the grain sector gathered during the CGC's recent user fees consultation and its engagement with stakeholders. Stakeholders will be given further opportunities in the coming year to provide input on the CGC's new user fees that will reflect a more streamlined organization and further improvements to the CGC.
For more information, please visit http://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=n&s2=2012&page=n121018qa or contact:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz