Vol. 149, No. 5 — March 11, 2015
SI/2015-17 March 11, 2015
AGRICULTURAL GROWTH ACT
Order Fixing the Day after the Day on which this Order is made as the Day on which Certain Sections of the Act Come into Force
P.C. 2015-231 February 26, 2015
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, pursuant to section 154 of the Agricultural Growth Act, chapter 2 of the Statutes of Canada, 2015, fixes the day after the day on which this Order is made as the day on which the following sections of that Act come into force:
- (a) sections 2 to 51;
- (b) section 52, subsection 53(2) and sections 54 to 61;
- (c) sections 62 to 72;
- (d) sections 73 to 83;
- (e) sections 84 to 98;
- (f) sections 99 to 112;
- (g) sections 113 to 119;
- (h) subsections 120(1), (3) and (4), sections 121 to 123, subsections 124(2) to (8), sections 125 and 126, subsections 127(1) and 128(1), (2), (4) to (6) and (8), sections 129 and 131, subsections 132(1) and (2) and 133(1) and sections 134 to 138 and 153; and
- (i) sections 141 to 147 and 149 to 152.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order in Council provides for the coming into force of certain sections of the Agricultural Growth Act (AGA) to allow for elements of the AGA to be implemented under the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Feeds Act, the Fertilizers Act, the Seeds Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act (AMPA) and the Farm Debt Mediation Act (FDMA).
The purpose of this Order is to bring into force a number of amendments to nine statutes under the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food which relate to the Canadian agriculture industry. Seven of the nine statutes are administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), while the remaining two (AMPA and FDMA) are administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).
Together, the amendments related to the CFIA statutes will
- Stimulate investment and innovation in the development of new crop varieties;
- Strengthen the competitiveness of agricultural inputs; and
- Increase the maximum possible penalties in the food and agricultural sector, through updated monetary penalties.
The amendments related to the AMPA and the FDMA will
- Increase the flexibility and accessibility of cash advances to producers under the Advance Payments Program (APP);
- Reduce administrative burden for administrators and producers who use the APP; and
- Simplifying program requirements and improving interaction between the AMPA and the FDMA in order to facilitate the mediation process for producers.
The need to amend the suite of agricultural statutes began with the creation of the CFIA in 1997, when the legislative priority was to reform statutes that CFIA would administer. Since that time, many of the statutes have become outdated, as they do not reflect modern business practices and they contain inconsistencies that can cause confusion for regulated parties and stakeholders.
The AGA amends the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, the Feeds Act, the Fertilizers Act, the Seeds Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act, and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, all of which fall under the purview of the CFIA.
The modernization of the CFIA’s statutes began with the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) receiving royal assent on November 22, 2012. It consolidated the authorities of the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. This Act protects consumers by targeting unsafe practices.
Since the SFCA was adopted, the focus of CFIA’s modernization turned to its suite of agricultural statutes, which resulted in Bill C-18 being created in collaboration with AAFC. This Bill includes measures to enhance the safety of agriculture products.
The Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, which governs the APP, was enacted in 1997 to establish programs for the marketing of agricultural products and was subsequently amended in 2006 and 2007. A legislative review was launched in November 2010 that focused on assessing the relevance, impact, and performance of the APP, as well as analyzing operations and delivery. The review identified a number of potential improvements to the legislation which resulted in the amendments to the AMPA which are included in the AGA.
The proposed amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act will bring Canada in line with trading partners that have adopted the 1991 revision of the Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV’91). The amendments are consistent with the Government’s commitment to support innovation and producers’ accessibility to new inputs. The amendments provide a framework that encourages private investment in domestic plant breeding and facilitates access to foreign varieties. After the amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act come into force, ratification of the UPOV’91 Convention will be pursued. Significant among the amendments to the other statutes administered by the CFIA are authorities to incorporate documents by reference in the regulations, authorities relating to the certification of exports, authorities providing for regulations to be made regarding licensing of feed and fertilizer manufacturers, and changes to address record-keeping and sampling authorities to allow for a more modern approach.
The proposed amendments to the AMPA and the FDMA are designed to provide increased accessibility and flexibility to the APP and to have the two Acts interact more effectively together. An increase in access to advances provided APP is expected with these changes increasing the capacity of producers to deal with cash flow pressures and better market their commodities. Current APP users will benefit from less paper work to complete each year, more eligible agricultural products and more flexible means of participation.
Note that not all sections of the AGA are being brought into force at this time. In order to ensure that producers and administrators can benefit from the amendments made to AMPA and the FDMA as soon as possible, about half of the amendments are brought into force through this Order. The remaining amendments will be brought into force once the necessary amendments to the Regulations are completed.
Program, Regulatory and Trade Policy Directorate
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Business Risk Management Program Development Directorate
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada