Language selection


Ministerial Transition Books - Binder 3
Who we are and what we do

November 20, 2019

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada mandate and legislative authorities - Tab 1

Purpose Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada mandate and legislative authorities

The Minister of Agriculture is responsible for numerous regulations and acts; key ones that drive work of the department are described below.

Mandate Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada mandate and legislative authorities

The federal power over agriculture is defined in section 95 of the Constitution which provides for concurrent federal-provincial jurisdiction in relation to agriculture. As such, the Department works closely with provincial and territorial governments in the development and delivery of policies, programs and services. Under the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act, the Minister is responsible for agriculture, products derived from agriculture, and research related to agriculture, including the operation of experimental farm stations. The Department supports the sector from the farmer and the farm through all phases of producing, processing and marketing of farm, food and agri-based products to the consumer and global markets.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's leadership in scientific research in the field of agriculture and agri-food is supported by the Experimental Farm Stations Act under which Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research centres, responsible for improving the productivity and land conservation of Canadian farms, have been established across Canada.

Legislative authorities

Since its creation in 1868, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has been responsible for administering a number of Acts and Regulations and for implementing government-wide regulatory initiatives.

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Portfolio has 204 regulations and orders under 13 different Acts (not including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency). These regulations primarily relate to legislative authorities for financial programs and marketing. The main ones are described below.

Financial program authorities

The Farm Income Protection Act provides broad authorities for the Minister to enter into agreements with the provinces to provide a suite of business risk management programs that currently includes income stabilization programming for farmers, disaster assistance, and crop insurance programs.

The Department also administers a number of specific financial programs for the sector including a loan guarantee program under the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act which allows the Minister to guarantee loans made to producers and cooperatives involved in agriculture. The Agricultural Marketing Programs Act provides the Minister the authority to establish the terms and conditions for programs that allow for price pooling and provide guarantees for advance payments made to producers through administrators.

The Farm Debt Mediation Act provides for mediation services between insolvent producers and their creditors, to help them arrive at a mutually satisfactory arrangement without resorting to the potentially costly and lengthy court process. The Minister is responsible for administering and enforcing the Act and appoints administrators and members of Appeal Boards.

Authorities for marketing

Marketing legislation within the Minister's mandate includes the Agricultural Products Marketing Act, the Farm Products Agencies Act and the Canadian Dairy Commission Act. The Agricultural Products Marketing Act allows for the delegation of federal authority to regulate the marketing of agricultural products in inter-provincial and export trade markets to provincial commodity boards. The Farm Products Agencies Act creates the National Farm Products Council, an oversight body for the supply management scheme in Canada, and allows for the creation of National Marketing Boards and Promotion and Research Agencies. The Canadian Dairy Commission Act creates the Canadian Dairy Commission, which supports the dairy industry by acting as an administrator by managing revenue pooling and market sharing, calculating the national dairy production target and setting support prices for butter and skim milk powder.

Authorities for standard setting

The Canada Grain Act outlines the powers and responsibilities of the Canadian Grain Commission, which establishes and maintains quality standards for Canadian grain and regulates the handling of grain to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets. In Budget 2019, the Government committed to reviewing the Canada Grain Act and the operations of the Canadian Grain Commission.

Authorities for quality and safety standards for agricultural products

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Health both have roles and responsibilities in two food-related statutes, which contain food safety and non-food safety requirements: the Food and Drugs Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act. While the powers, duties and functions for each Minister vary for each Act, the Minister of Health is generally responsible for these statutes and their applicable regulations as they relate to food safety and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for the non-food safety elements of these statutes and applicable regulations. The two Acts (as it relates to food) are enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Authorities for plant and animal health, agricultural inputs and plant breeders rights

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is responsible for the Plant Protection Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Feeds Act, the Seeds Act, the Fertilizers Act and the Plant Breeders Rights Act. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency administers and enforces these statutes.

  • The Plant Protection Act and Health of Animals Act work towards ensuring the safety of Canada's plant and animal resource base by providing for the control and eradication of animal diseases and plant pests and diseases.
  • The Feeds Act, Seeds Act, and Fertilizers Act govern the safety and sale of agricultural inputs. Regulations derived from these Acts are important mechanisms in supporting the quality of agri-food inputs.
  • The Plant Breeders Rights Act governs the intellectual property rights associated with plant breeds and breeding.

Authorities for administrative monetary penalties

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is partly responsible to Parliament for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency are also responsible for administering this Act). This Act creates an administrative monetary penalty system for the enforcement of the agri-food Acts.

Special powers

The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Act provides for the delivery of soil and water conservation and development programs to secure the rehabilitation of drought and soil drifting areas in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The Act allows the Government to develop and promote systems of farm practice, tree culture, water supply, land utilization and land settlement that will afford greater economic security. Funds appropriated under the Act are used for the Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Program which supports projects that will create technologies, practices and processes that can be adopted by farmers to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Criminal Code of Canada also provides Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada with the responsibility for the policy and regulatory functions pertaining to pari-mutuel wagering on horse races. This function is carried out through the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency.

The Minister, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, also plays an important role in the emergency preparedness planning of the federal government. The statutory authorities for this role include the government purchases program which is included in the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act and supports the security of the Canadian food supply, the emergency measures power under the Farm Income Protection Act with the authorization of the Governor in Council to assign any duty or function to the Minister under the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act.

Portfolio and Partner Organization Profile

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada portfolio and partner organizations - Tab 2

Note: Some values have been updated for accuracy since these materials were presented to the Minister.

Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal
History - Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

The Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal (CART) is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal created in 1998. Its office is located in downtown Ottawa.

Effective November 1, 2014, CART became one of twelve tribunals that are supported by the Administrative Tribunals Support Services of Canada (ATSSC). The ATSSC allocates a budget to CART and provides administrative support, but CART remains part of the Agriculture portfolio; AAFC continues to be responsible for formulating policy in support of the administration of CART, and the Minister continues to have authority for appointments.

Mandate - Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

CART's mandate is to give the public the opportunity to request reviews of certain decisions or penalties imposed under various agriculture and agri-food acts; requests for reviews come from individuals and industry. In this regard, the organization plays a key role in ensuring a fair and efficient administrative monetary penalty system.

Activities - Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

CART's main focus is to review Notices of Violation issued by Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. In 2018-19, CART rendered decisions on 20 cases and carried forward 50 cases to 2019-2020.

Funding - Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal

In 2019-2020, ATSSC has allocated to CART approximately $980,000 for all operations.

Full-time equivalents

8 employees, 1 full-time member, 3 part-time members

Chairperson: Mr. Luc Bélanger
Appointment: July 17, 2017 to July 16, 2022

The Chairperson is a full-time member of CART and its CEO. In this capacity, the Chairperson is accountable for the effectiveness and efficiency of CART's operations and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. However, because of the size of the Tribunal, it is not an independent entity under the Financial Administration Act.

Canadian Dairy Commission
History - Canadian Dairy Commission

The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) is a Crown corporation, created in 1966 by the Canadian Dairy Commission Act. Its office is located in Ottawa on the Central Experimental Farm.

Mandate - Canadian Dairy Commission

To ensure that the supply managed system in the dairy sector is working to benefit producers through a fair return for their production, and that consumers have an adequate supply of high quality dairy products.

Activities - Canadian Dairy Commission

The CDC chairs the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee and provides ongoing support to Canada's dairy industry, in co-operation with stakeholders and governments. The CDC also administers revenue pooling agreements; manages national targets for milk production and the farm gate price of milk; and administers programs. It has authority to buy, store, process and sell dairy products on domestic and export markets. In August 2019, the Government announced that the CDC will administer and deliver $345 million in payments to dairy producers through the Dairy Direct Payment Program for fiscal year 2019–2020.

Funding - Canadian Dairy Commission

The CDC receives funding from Parliament, dairy producers, the marketplace and its commercial operations.

Budget - Canadian Dairy Commission

$9.4 million for the dairy year ending July 31, 2020, including $3.85 million from government appropriations. The remaining $5.55 million is funded by CDC's commercial operations, from milk producers for programs administered on their behalf and from the marketplace for the storage of butter. (Source: CDC 2019-2020 to 2023-2024 Corporate Plan)

Full-time equivalents - Canadian Dairy Commission 70

CEO: Mr. Serge Riendeau
Appointment: May 14, 2018 to May 13, 2021 (Part-time appointment)

The CEO is responsible for overall operations and management of the CDC and serves as the primary liaison between the CDC and dairy industry stakeholders and government officials.

Chairperson: Vacant

Appointment: A process has been initiated to fill the vacant chairperson position. Candidates have been interviewed and recommendations will be provided to the Minister under separate cover.

The Commission has authorized Jennifer Hayes (member) to assume the duties and authorities of the chairperson on a temporary basis until a new chairperson is appointed.

The Chairperson serves as the CDC's primary liaison to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and is responsible for leading the CDC Board of Directors while working closely with the CEO and Commissioner.

Canadian Grain Commission
History - Canadian Grain Commission

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) was created in 1912 through the Canada Grain Act (CGA). Its headquarters are located in Winnipeg.

Mandate - Canadian Grain Commission

The CGC's mandate, as set out in the CGA, is in the interests of grain producers, to establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain, to regulate grain handling in Canada and, to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets.

Activities - Canadian Grain Commission

In carrying out its mandate and supporting its vision to be a leader in delivering excellence and innovation for the grain industry, the CGC's key activities are

  • quality assurance
  • quantity assurance
  • producer protection
  • grain quality research

In Western Canada, the CGC is mandated to license and regulate the entire grain handling system, from the primary elevators, where grain is first received from producers, to the terminal and transfer elevators, where it is exported to foreign buyers.

Funding - Canadian Grain Commission

The CGC is funded through appropriations from Parliament and fees charged for services delivered.

Budget - Canadian Grain Commission

$64.52 million, funded by $6.14 million in annual government appropriation and $58.38 million in user fees revenue. (Source: CGC 2019-20 Departmental Report)

Full-time equivalents - Canadian Grain Commission 450

Chief Commissioner: Ms. Patti Miller
Appointment: February 13, 2017 to February 12, 2023

The Chief Commissioner reports directly to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and administers and enforces the CGA. The Chief Commissioner also serves as the CEO and provides overall direction and leadership to the staff of the Commission in administering the Act and regulations and in the provision of services to the grain industry.

Assistant Chief Commissioner: Mr. Doug Chorney
Appointment: February 13, 2017 to February 12, 2022

Commissioner: Mr. Lonny McKague
Appointment: February 13, 2017 to February 12, 2021

Farm Credit Canada
History - Farm Credit Canada

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is a Crown corporation, created in 1959 through the Farm Credit Act. Its headquarters are located in Regina.

Mandate - Farm Credit Canada

FCC provides specialized and personalized business and financial services and products to farming operations, including family farms and businesses that are related to farming.

Activities - Farm Credit Canada

With a portfolio of more than $36 billion in loans, FCC is Canada's largest provider of capital to agriculture and agri-food producers and agri-businesses. FCC has over 100,000 customers serviced by 97 locations across Canada. FCC provides financing, software, learning programs and other business services to advance the business of agriculture. Through its investment in the venture capital company Avrio, FCC has also helped address the need for non-traditional capital financing in Canada's agriculture industry.

Funding - Farm Credit Canada

FCC is self-sustaining and is not dependant on government appropriations. Funds to support its operations are borrowed directly from the Government of Canada under the Consolidated Borrowing Program, and is limited to what the Minister of Finance approves, often based on FCC's forecast operating needs.

Budget - Farm Credit Canada

For 2019–20, targets are $674.7. million in net income, with loans receivable to grow by 3.2% to a value of $37.0 billion. For 2018–19, FCC reported a net income of $ 656.7 million and paid a $394.8 million dividend to the Government of Canada on September 20, 2019, for the year ending March 31, 2019.

(Sources: FCC 2019–20 to 2023–24 Corporate Plan and 2018–19 Annual Report)

Full-time equivalents - Farm Credit Canada Over 1,900

President and CEO: Mr. Michael Hoffort
Appointment: July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2024 (Re-appointed July 1, 2019)

The President and CEO of FCC is responsible for the supervision of the business of the corporation. Working with the Board of Directors, he is responsible for the strategic leadership of the corporation and for providing leadership and advice to the Board on all matters of policy affecting the direction and operation of the corporation.

Chairperson: Mr. Dale Johnston
Appointment: December 12, 2012 to December 11, 2019, member of the Board of Directors since June 23, 2011

The Chairperson serves as the FCC's primary liaison to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and is responsible for leading the 12-member FCC Board of Directors while working closely with the CEO.

Farm Products Council of Canada
History - Farm Products Council of Canada

The Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) was created in 1972 by the Farm Products Agencies Act (FPAA) which provides for the creation of marketing agencies for supply managed sectors (excluding dairy) and promotion and research agencies. Its office is located in Ottawa on the Central Experimental Farm.

Mandate - Farm Products Council of Canada

The FPCC's responsibilities, as defined in the FPAA, are to

  • advise the Minister on all matters relating to the establishment and operations of agencies under the FPAA with a view to maintaining and promoting efficient and competitive industries;
  • approve quota regulations and levies orders, licensing regulations and certain by-law provisions;
  • work with agencies in promoting more effective marketing of supply managed farm products;
  • investigate and take action, within its powers on any complaints related to national agency decisions; and,
  • hold public hearings when necessary, such as when new agencies are proposed.
Activities - Farm Products Council of Canada

FPCC works with and supervises the operations of the following five agencies established under the FPAA to ensure that they are promoting a strong, efficient and competitive production and marketing industry, and operate in the interests of producers and consumers.

  • Egg Farmers of Canada (1972)
  • Turkey Farmers of Canada (1974)
  • Chicken Farmers of Canada (1978)
  • Canadian Hatching Egg Producers (1986)
  • Canada Beef Inc. (2002)

FPCC also administers the Agricultural Products Marketing Act (APMA), on behalf of AAFC. The APMA allows the federal government to delegate its authorities over interprovincial and export trade to provincial commodity boards on a wide range of farm products. This enables boards to collect “check off” duties from producers of commodities in order to fund research, marketing and other activities of general benefit to the sector.

In September 2019, the FPCC released their new three year strategic plan “Efficiency through Dialogue” with an emphasis on improving dialogue and transparency with their stakeholders in the work they undertake.

Funding - Farm Products Council of Canada

The FPCC is funded entirely through appropriations as part of AAFC's ongoing votes listed in the Main Estimates.

Budget - Farm Products Council of Canada

The 2019–20 forecast budget is $3.1 million

Full-time equivalents - Farm Products Council of Canada 22

Chairperson: Mr. Brian Douglas
Appointment: June 11, 2018 to June 10, 2023

The Chairperson of the FPCC reports to the Minister and provides advice on the activities, objectives, requirements and policies of the Council, and on all matters relating to the establishment, operation and performance of agencies under the FPAA. FPCC is composed of between three and seven members. Currently, the FPCC has five members.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
History - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) was established in 1997 as a regulatory body. It is focused on mitigating and managing risks related to food safety, animal health and plant protection, with the health and safety of Canadians as paramount. The CFIA transitioned from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Portfolio to the Health portfolio in October 2013 to better align federal authorities related to food safety.

Mandate - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

In considering the CFIA's mandate, there are key areas where its activities can impact and influence the competitiveness and economic interests of the sector, particularly

  • food safety, animal health and plant protection;
  • trade and market access; and
  • regulatory modernization.
Activities - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Minister of Health is responsible for the overall direction and budget of the CFIA and for issues related to food safety. The CFIA continues to report to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for non-food safety activities and economic and trade issues (such as those related to animal health, plant protection, and agricultural inputs such as feeds, seeds and fertilizer).

There are instances where the CFIA will be required to brief both the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Health on issues and initiatives that cross areas of responsibility (such as biotechnology, market access issues involving food safety and animal health issues that can potentially impact the safety of the food supply such as antimicrobial resistance). The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, as chief policy advisor to the Minister for the portfolio, plays a key role supporting the Minister's responsibilities with respect to policy development, issues, implementation and possible impact.

Funding - Canadian Food Inspection Agency $732 million, which includes CFIA's fee revenue of $53 million (on average)
Full-time equivalents - Canadian Food Inspection Agency 6,021 employees

President: Dr. Siddika Mithani, PhD
Appointment: February 27, 2019.

Governor in Council and Ministerial Appointments

At Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, two processes are used to make appointments: Governor in Council and Ministerial.

Governor in Council appointments

Governor in Council appointments are those made by the Governor General acting on the advice of Cabinet. An Order in Council is the legal instrument which, when signed by the Governor General, formalizes the appointment.

Governor in Council appointees play an important role in Canada by serving on commissions, boards, Crown corporations, agencies and tribunals across the country.

Within the agriculture and agri-food portfolio there are a number of Governor in Council appointees at each of the following organizations: Farm Credit Canada, Canadian Dairy Commission, Canadian Grain Commission, Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) and the Canada Agricultural Review.

There are two appointments requiring attention in the near term:

  • Chairperson, Canadian Dairy Commission: currently vacant since August 1, 2019.
  • Chairperson, Farm Credit Canada: set to expire December 12, 2019.

An open, transparent, and merit-based selection process has been conducted for both positions and a recommendation package for each is ready for review.

Other upcoming Governor in Council appointments that will require action:

  • Board member, Farm Credit Canada: set to expire November 25, 2019.
  • Commissioner, Canadian Dairy Commission: set to expire January 2, 2020.

As per the Financial Administration Act, the incumbents in non-leadership positions remain until officially renewed or replaced.

Auditors from two national agencies, set under the Farm Products Agencies Act, have their terms expiring December 31, 2019: Egg Farmers of Canada and Turkey Farmers of Canada. It is anticipated that these organizations will be providing FPCC their recommendations for these positions shortly. FPCC will then prepare a package for your consideration.

Ministerial appointments

Ministerial appointments are made under your direct authority and do not require the approval of the Governor in Council. You are responsible for the appointment of board and committee members for four entities: Farm Debt Mediation Services Appeal Boards, the Eastern and Western Grain Standards Committees of the Canadian Grain Commission, Inspectors for the five National Agencies overseen by FPCC, and the National Program Advisory Committee.

The Farm Debt Mediation Services Appeal Boards has six of its ten members set to expire December 11, 2019.

Inspectors from two national agencies have their terms expiring December 31, 2019: Chicken Farmers of Canada and Canadian Hatching Egg Producers. It is anticipated that these organizations will be providing FPCC with their recommendations for these positions shortly. FPCC will then prepare a package for your consideration.

There are no positions with the Eastern and Western Grain Standards Committees that require immediate attention.

There are no positions with the National Program Advisory Committee that require immediate attention.

Parliamentary and Cabinet Affairs

Parliamentary committees - Tab 3

Parliamentary committees

Parliamentary committees examine, in small groups, selected matters in greater depth than what is possible in the House of Commons or the Senate. It is an opportunity for members to hear from academia, industry experts, and all levels of government on topics of federal concern and to have these representations placed on the public record. Committees may also probe the details of policies and programs, legislation and issues related to their mandate, and they may develop an expertise in specific areas. Reports from findings are prepared by committees and presented in Parliament.

Standing Committees are permanent committees established by the Standing Orders of the House of Commons and are composed of Members of Parliament (MP) (proportional to party standings in the House). Membership changes occur when a new session of Parliament begins (or as required).

Standing Senate Committees are permanent committees established by the Rules of the Senate and are composed of Senators (proportional to party standings in the Senate). Membership changes occur at the beginning of each new session of Parliament (or as required).

Parliamentary Secretaries may be appointed by the Chief Government Whip to serve as a non-voting member of a committee with all the rights and privileges of a committee member, but may neither move motions, nor vote, nor be counted for the purposes of a quorum.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food may be invited by standing committees to talk about the expenditures of the portfolio, a piece of Government legislation, hot issues impacting the sector, or as part of a study initiated by the Senate Committee. The Minister could also be invited to appear at other standing committees of interest.

The Minister directs officials in the drafting of Government Responses to reports presented by both standing committees. The Minister would then present these proposals to Cabinet colleagues for approval and ratification before the Government Response may be tabled in Parliament and made public.

Key committees

Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food

The Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) examines issues related to Canada's agriculture and agri-food industry. AGRI has the power to review issues related to the mandate, management, and operation of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Portfolio, legislation, expenditures and activities of the Portfolio organizations.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, when invited, appears before the Committee to support the work of AGRI. Typically, the Minister, accompanied by the Deputy Minister and officials, will appear to support the Estimates process and Government legislation, while Portfolio officials are invited to appear to provide information to AGRI when it studies other topics.

AGRI will invite witnesses from across the sector representing a wide array of views so that members can examine the issue and make recommendations to the Government. At the conclusion of a study, the Committee presents its report in the House of Commons and may request the Government to respond to its recommendations. A Government Response is due within 120 days after the presentation of the report (pursuant to House of Commons Standing Order 109).

Studies undertaken (42nd Parliament –  1st Session) — in chronological order from most recent to oldest
  • Perception of and Public Trust in the Canadian Agricultural Sector. From February to April 2019, the Committee undertook a study to understand the challenges and opportunities for the sector and how the public perceives the Canadian agricultural sector. No report was presented, but the Committee sent a letter inviting the Minister to review the testimony and briefs and encouraged members appointed to the Committee in the next Parliament to continue the study.
  • Support for Indigenous Peoples in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Industry. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its five recommendations on May 28, 2019. The Government Response was expected to be tabled by September 25, 2019. However, as a result of the dissolution of the 42nd Parliament, the request for a Government Response has died on the Order Paper.
  • Mental health challenges faced by farmers, ranchers and producers. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 10 recommendations on May 28, 2019. The Government Response was expected to be tabled by September 25, 2019. However, as a result of the dissolution of the 42nd Parliament, the request for a Government Response has died on the Order Paper.
  • African Swine Fever. Study concluded. No report was presented. The Committee sent a letter to the Minister to share its concerns on the issue on June 4, 2019.
  • Official Notices of Non-Compliance from China for exports of Canadian Canola Seeds. The Committee held two meetings and sent a letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. No report was presented.
  • Advancements of Technology and Research in the Agriculture Industry that can support Canadian Exports. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 23 recommendations on January 28, 2019. The Government Response was tabled on July 17, 2019.
  • Bill C-281, An Act to Establish a National Local Food Day. The Committee heard from the sponsor, MP Wayne Stetski, New Democratic Party, and passed the Bill without amendment on June 20, 2018.
  • Role of Food Inspection Agencies in the Context of Free Trade Agreements. The Committee held two meetings and concluded its study on April 16, 2018. No report was presented.
  • Grain Transportation Backlog. Study concluded after one meeting on March 19, 2018. No report was presented.
  • Climate Change and Water and Soil Conservation Issues. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 19 recommendations on May 30, 2018. The Government Response was tabled on September 27, 2018.
  • A Food Policy for Canada. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 21 recommendations on December 11, 2017. The Government Response was tabled on March 29, 2018.
  • Non-Tariff Trade Barriers to the Sale of Agricultural Products in Relation to Free Trade Agreements. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 12 recommendations on November 6, 2017. The Government Response was tabled on February 15, 2018.
  • Canada-United States Cooperation in Agriculture. The Committee presented its report without a request for a Government Response on June 19, 2017.
  • Debt in the Agriculture Sector and its Effects. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its four recommendations on June 19, 2017. The Government Response was tabled on October 17, 2017.
  • Amendments to Health of Animals Regulations (Humane Transportation). Study concluded after three meetings. No report was presented.
  • PMRA Decision Concerning the Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid. The Committee sent a letter to the Minister of Health to share its concerns on the issue.
  • Next Agricultural Policy Framework. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 21 recommendations on March 8, 2017. The Government Response was tabled on June 16, 2017.
  • Genetically Modified Animals for Human Consumption. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its four recommendations. The Government Response was tabled on April 11, 2017.
  • Bee Health Monitoring in Canada. Study concluded after two meetings. No report presented.
  • Canada's Preferential Status under the United States Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA). The Committee sent three letters to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development to share its concerns on the issue.
    • On January 18, 2018, both Ministers co-signed a letter to inform the Committee that the Government of Canada was moving forward with the Safe Food for Canadian Regulations, which includes a single dispute resolution body, likely the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation (which has comparable outcomes to the U.S. PACA).
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership. Study concluded after 3 meetings. No report was presented.
  • Canada Transportation Act Review — Grain Sector. Study concluded after one meeting. No report was presented.
  • Supply management, dairy producers, and the Canadian dairy industry. The Committee held no meetings and presented its report on May 17, 2016. No Government Response requested and the report was concurred in on June 7, 2017.
  • Study on Milk Protein. Study concluded after one meeting. No report was presented.


The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, accompanied by officials, appeared eight times before AGRI for the following Estimates meetings during the 2015-to-2019 period:

  • Main Estimates 2019-20;
  • Report on Plans and Priorities 2019-20;
  • Main Estimates 2018-19;
  • Supplementary Estimates (A) 2018-19;
  • Supplementary Estimates (B) 2017-18;
  • Main Estimates 2017-18;
  • Subject matter of Supplementary Estimates (B) 2016-17; and
  • Main Estimates 2016-17.

Note: Department officials appeared before AGRI on March 6, 2016, to discuss Supplementary Estimates (C) 2015-16; the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food was not present.

Other activities — in chronological order from most recent to oldest

  • Briefing given by department officials on Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in British Columbia.
  • Briefing given by department officials on Genetically Modified Wheat in Alberta.
  • Briefing given by department officials on the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) Situation in Canada. The Committee sent a letter in 2017 to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to share its concerns on the issue.
  • Briefing given by the Auditor General of Canada on Spring 2017 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada (Customs Duties).
  • Briefing given by department officials on the Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) outbreak in Alberta. The Committee sent a letter in 2016 to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to share its concerns on the issue.
  • Briefing of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, accompanied by department officials, regarding the mandate letter.
  • Briefing given by department officials on Overview of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food System.

Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry

The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (AGFO) has the mandate to examine legislation and to study, on order of the Senate, matters relating to agriculture and forestry.

In the last Parliament, AGFO was composed of 12 members (proportional to party standings: Independent Senators Group: 7; Conservative:4 ; and Liberal: 1).

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, when invited, is accompanied by the Deputy Minister, and officials to appear before the Committee to support the work of the Committee.

The Committee gathers the majority of the information for its reports through public meetings where it hears from witnesses. Once a Committee report is adopted by the Senate, the Senate may ask the Government to respond to the Committee's recommendations within 150 days (pursuant to Rules of the Senate, Rule 12-24).

Studies undertaken (42nd Parliament – 1st Session) - in chronological order from most recent to oldest

  • How the Value-added Food Sector Can be More Competitive in Global Markets. The Committee presented its report on July 15, 2019, without a request for a Government Response to its 9 recommendations. However, it is expected that the Committee will make this request in the next Parliament.
  • Bill C-281, An Act to Establish a National Local Day. The Committee heard from the sponsor, MP Wayne Stetski, NDP, and other witnesses on May 16, 2019 and reported the Bill with amendments back to the Senate on May 29, 2019. The Bill did not move further and died on the Order Paper when Parliament was dissolved.
  • Examine and report on issues relating to agriculture and forestry. General order of reference to provide AGFO with flexibility to call meetings on various topics. AGFO did not present a report on the following topics:
    • Food literacy in Canada (May 9, 2019)
    • The matter of soil conditions in Canada, how soils are used and what steps are being taken to protect them (May 2, 2019)
    • Support and compensation of the supply management agricultural sectors given Canada's newest trade agreements: USMCA, CPTPP, and CETA (February 18, 19, 21 and 26, 2019)
    • Restrictions on marketing whole wheat, whole grain and white bread in relation to the definition of Unhealthy Food for Children (December 6 and 18, 2018)
    • Regulatory framework regarding agricultural products used for cannabis production (April 24, 2018)
    • The composting of cannabis residues and potential impacts on the environment (April 24, 2018)
  • Potential Impact of the Effects of Climate Change on the Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry Sectors. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 16 recommendations on December 11, 2018. The Government Response was tabled on July 17, 2019.
  • The Acquisition of Farmland in Canada and its Potential Impact on the Farming Sector. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 12 recommendations. The Government Response was tabled on July 18, 2018.
  • The current situation involving the Bovine Tuberculosis outbreak in Southeastern Alberta, the quarantine that farms in Alberta and Saskatchewan are under, and the movement controls in place for cattle. The Committee presented its interim report on December 7, 2016. No Government Response was requested.
  • International Market Access Priorities for the Canadian Agricultural and Agri-Food Sector. The Committee presented its report with a request for a Government Response to its 18 recommendations. The Government Response was tabled on October 6, 2017.

Other activities - in chronological order from most recent to oldest

  • AAFC officials briefed AGFO's Steering Committee in preparation of a potential upcoming fact-finding mission to Europe, the merits of attending SIAL (Salon International de l'Alimentation) in Paris and to discuss food processing in the EU in the context of its study on how the value-added food sector can be more competitive in global markets.

Other committees of interest

  • There are over 20 Parliamentary committees in each House of Parliament. Below are a few examples of committees of particular interest for the department:
  • The Standing Committee on International Trade studies and reports on such matters as international trade policy, and the global trade and investment environment.
  • The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities studies the legislation, policies and programs, and other issues of national importance related to transportation, infrastructure, and Canadian cities and communities as well as the operations of Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada. Of interest to the Portfolio, Bill C-49, Transportation Modernization Act was reviewed by the Committee in 2017.
  • The Standing Committee on Finance studies and reports on all matters relating to the mandate, management and operation of selected federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Finance and the Canada Revenue Agency, and conducts pre-budget consultations.
  • The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology studies and reports on legislation the activities and spending of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and its portfolio members, and other issues related to industry and technology capability, scientific research and development, telecommunications policy, investment, trade, small business and tourism, and rules and services that support the effective operation of the marketplace.
  • The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has the mandate to review and report on the Public Accounts of Canada and all reports of the Auditor General of Canada.
  • The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade examines legislation and matters relating to foreign and Commonwealth relations, including: treaties and international agreements; external trade; foreign aid; and territorial and offshore matters.
  • The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce examines legislation and issues related to banking, insurance, trust and loan companies, credit societies, caisses populaires and small loan companies. It is also responsible for considering customs and excise issues, taxation legislation, patents, royalties, corporate affairs, and bankruptcy-related issues.
  • The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance examines matters relating to federal estimates generally, including the public accounts and reports of the Auditor General, as well as government finance. In addition, the committee has investigated other topics of interest and importance to the country.
  • The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology examines legislation and issues related to cultural affairs and the arts, social and labour matters, health and welfare, pensions and housing. It is also responsible for considering fitness and amateur sport, employment and immigration, consumer affairs, and youth affairs.
  • The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations has members from both the Senate and the House of Commons. The Committee reviews and scrutinizes government regulations and other statutory instruments to ensure government bodies remain accountable to Parliament. It deals with matters of legality and the procedural aspects of regulations, as opposed to the merits of particular regulations or the policy they reflect. The Committee has the power to recommend disallowance of a regulation or part of a regulation.

Overview of Cabinet committee process and business - Tab 4

The Prime Minister is responsible for structuring Cabinet, and determining the number, mandate and membership of Cabinet committees. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is a member of Cabinet which sets strategic direction, approves appointments and can ratify decisions of the other Cabinet committees. The other Cabinet committees will be determined by the Prime Minister, but would normally include an economic committee, social committee, international committee, and the Treasury Board Committee.
The department supports the minister as a member of Cabinet by preparing the minister for meetings of Cabinet and the various Cabinet committees by

  • providing briefing material for the Cabinet Committee meetings
  • preparing memoranda to Cabinet presentations to Cabinet Committee colleagues.

A memorandum to cabinet is the mechanism used at a Cabinet committee meeting to seek policy authority and a Cabinet decision on a proposal, or to inform Cabinet colleagues of a particular issue and how the minister proposes to manage it.

A) Briefing material for Cabinet committee meetings

The department provides briefing material on memoranda to Cabinet submissions prepared by other federal government departments where there are implications for AAFC or the portfolio.

B) Minister's presentations (memorandum to Cabinet) to Cabinet committees

The minister will present a memorandum to Cabinet to a Cabinet committee, and then the item may move forward to ratification at Cabinet. Memoranda to Cabinet are developed in liaison with central agencies (Privy Council Office, Finance and Treasury Board) and other government departments.

The department provides a briefing binder with a ministerial briefing note, presentation deck, talking points, the memorandum to Cabinet, questions and answers, and any relevant background material for presentation to the Cabinet committee.

The department's role includes

  • preparing briefing material and Cabinet submissions
  • advancing Cabinet submissions through the process
  • acting as the central liaison and intermediary with the central agencies (Privy Council Office, Finance Canada, and the Treasury Board Secretariat), the portfolio and other government departments for all Cabinet-related business;
  • advancing AAFC's and its portfolio's interests with central agencies and the other government departments and agencies;
  • continuously monitoring and assessing issues on the government's agenda and/or proposed Cabinet business to gather and provide strategic policy intelligence, advice, and policy foresight;
  • providing expert advice on the protocol and processes of Cabinet committees to the minister, the minister's office, the deputy minister's office, the portfolio; and,
  • acting as the custodian of all official Cabinet documents held by the department, and being accountable to the Privy Council Office for their safekeeping.

Cabinet business

There are two main types of Cabinet business typically advanced by ministers of Cabinet:

  1. Policy approval for the advancement of new initiatives by the Minister or colleagues (signatory or co-signatory). ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████
  2. Approval of Government Responses to Reports of Parliamentary Committees. These reports often have agriculture related recommendations that are raised by Committee members who have questions about them. Some examples: Government Response to the 14th Report of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry entitled: Feast or Famine: Impacts of climate change and carbon pricing on agriculture, agri-food and forestry; and the Government Response to the 15th Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food entitled: Advancements of Technology and Research in the Agriculture Industry that can Support Canadian Exports.

Separate ministerial briefings will be provided on specific potential Cabinet business.

International Relations

Multilateral agricultural institutions - Tab 5


Canada is a trade dependent nation and relies on free trade agreements and World Trade Organization (WTO) rules to improve its ability to trade with countries around the world. Canada is vulnerable to disruptions arising from animal, plant and human health concerns, invasive species and other environmental risks associated with trade in agricultural products. Engagement in multilateral institutions offers opportunities to work with other countries to anticipate, plan for and respond to such issues.

1) International trade rules and trade disputes

The World Trade Organization

Canada is a founding member of the WTO. The WTO is a forum for its 164 members to negotiate new trade and trade-related agreements, monitor the implementation of existing trade agreements and address disputes between members. The WTO currently has 23 observer nations. The WTO oversees about 60 trade agreements, including three agreements of particular relevance to agriculture.

The WTO Agreement on Agriculture places limits on tariffs, encourages the use of less production or trade distorting domestic support and limits the use of export subsides. While the overall Government of Canada lead for international trade rests with the Minister of International Trade Diversification, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is the lead for the WTO's Committee on Agriculture which monitors how WTO Members are meeting their respective commitments under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) also leads on the WTO agriculture negotiations, launched in 2000 with the objective of making fundamental reforms to global agricultural trade. Overall progress has been stalled since 2008 but in December 2015, WTO Ministers agreed to the elimination of agricultural export subsidies. Canada negotiated flexibility to eliminate its export subsidies for dairy products by the end of 2020.

Canadian exports must meet technical requirements including measures designed to protect animal, plant and human health. The WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement addresses technical regulations standards (e.g., labelling requirements). The WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) Agreement establishes the right of members to take measures necessary to protect food safety and animal and plant health. AAFC participates in the WTO TBT and SPS Committees to advance Canadian agricultural trade interests by raising market access issues, advocating for a scientific, evidence-based regulatory environment, and participating in policy development. The SPS committee works to develop food and safety measures that will ensure consumers are being supplied with food that is safe to eat. These committees support the objectives of the WTO's TBT and SPS Agreements, which oblige countries to ensure that their technical regulations and measures do not unnecessarily restrict global trade.

Under the WTO's dispute settlement process, any member of the WTO can bring a dispute settlement case against another member if they believe WTO commitments are being violated. Since the Dispute Settlement Body's inception in 1995, Canada has launched 40 disputes at the WTO, with 14 of these disputes addressing trade in agricultural goods, including the most recent request for consultations with China on canola. Canada has also been subject to 23 disputes launched by other countries, with the most recent being the 2017 dispute launched by Australia on Canada's measures governing the sale of wine.

2) Co-operation and collaborative analysis

International standards-setting bodies

AAFC engages in the development of international standards at three international standard setting bodies (the Bodies), which are referenced in the WTO SPS Agreement: Codex Alimentarius, the World Organisation for Animal Health, and the International Plant Protection Convention. These Bodies establish standards, guidelines and recommendations to protect human, animal and plant health respectively. These standards facilitate international trade by providing a set of common science-based measures that all WTO members are encouraged to adopt.

AAFC, along with leads at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada, regularly participates in the Bodies and, through the International Collaboration Program, provides ad hoc financial support for projects that advance Canadian agricultural trade interests. Through the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, AAFC, CFIA, and Health Canada received approximately $10 million over five years (2019-20 to 2023-24), and $2 million ongoing, to enhance Canadian influence in the Bodies. These funds will support increased Canadian participation in the Bodies, as well as further grant funding for projects that support the Canadian agricultural sector's interests. No projects have been approved as funding from the 2018 Fall Economic Statement is not available until March 2020.

AAFC also participates in a number of international organizations whose focus is on cooperation, policy analysis and guidance. These include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Group of 7 (G7) and the Group of 20 (G20), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The FAO provides technical analysis and policy guidance on a wide range of issues concerning agriculture, fisheries, and forestry, and works to increase agricultural productivity and reduce food insecurity. The FAO's work to develop food safety and plant health standards at the international standards setting bodies is of particular importance for AAFC as these international standards for food safety facilitate trade in agriculture and agri-food. The FAO convenes various meetings each year and a minister-level conference every two years. The next ministerial meeting is expected to take place in summer 2021.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD establishes international norms and develops evidence-based solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. Through both voluntary financial contributions and participation in key roles in the various committees and working groups, AAFC contributes to the direction of the OECD's agriculture policy-related research and ensures the work informs AAFC's policy priorities.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Canadian Agricultural Partnership priorities - Tab 6

Purpose - Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) is a five-year (2018 to 2023) federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) framework that provides supports to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector and increase its competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability.

Background - Canadian Agricultural Partnership

Since 2003, FPT partners have worked collaboratively to negotiate the priorities and principles included in five-year agricultural policy frameworks. These frameworks ensure FPT partners work collaboratively to create initiatives that support common objectives for the sector and reduce redundancy and inequities in programming.

Agricultural policy frameworks are negotiated in three important steps:

  • drafting the FPT ministerial statement —where FPT partners collaborate on developing the priorities and principles that will guide the development of the Multilateral Framework Agreement (MFA)
  • negotiation and agreement, by all jurisdictions, on the content of the MFA; and
  • negotiation of individual bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

The Partnership is the most current iteration of the framework and launched April 1, 2018. The Partnership commits FPT partners to supporting initiatives within six priority areas that were determined through extensive consultations with provinces and territories, producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors. Priority areas include

  • Science, research and innovation — Helping industry adopt practices to improve resiliency and productivity through research and innovation in key areas.
  • Markets and trade — Opening new markets and helping producers and food processors improve their competitiveness through skills development, improved export capacity, underpinned by a strong and efficient regulatory system.
  • Environmental sustainability and climate change — Building sector capacity to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and adapt to climate change by enhancing sustainable growth, while increasing production.
  • Value-added agriculture and agri-food processing — Supporting the continued growth of the value-added agriculture and agri-food processing sector.
  • Public trust — Building a firm foundation for public trust in the sector through improved assurance systems in food safety and plant and animal health, stronger traceability and effective regulations.
  • Risk management — Enabling proactive and effective risk management, mitigation and adaptation to facilitate a resilient sector by working to ensure programs are comprehensive, responsive and accessible.

The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion investment to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector, ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity. Of this $3 billion, $1 billion is focussed on federal-only programming, and the remaining $2 billion is distributed to provinces and territories. Provinces and Territories design and deliver programs that support overall framework objectives and priority areas. These programs are funded on a 60:40 cost-share ratio (federal: provincial/territorial), providing flexibility as issues and priorities vary greatly among provincial and territorial partners. In addition, producers have access to a suite of Business Risk Management programs.

Federal programming under the Partnership focuses on three key areas: Growing trade and expanding markets ($297 million); Innovative and sustainable growth of the sector ($690 million); Supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector ($166.5 million). More information about these areas can be found in Tab 8.

Next steps - Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Partnership is set to expire on March 31, 2023. Prior to launching the Partnership's successor framework, FPT partners will need to undertake negotiations and complete several key milestones including

  • reviewing the Partnership's program performance and ability to support priority areas (2020);
  • undertaking national consultations with provinces, territories, producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and other stakeholders, to determine new priorities for the framework (2021);
  • negotiating the FPT Ministers' Statement – which provides the priorities and principles that guide the development of the MFA (July 2021);
  • negotiating the MFA (Announced 2022);
  • negotiating bilateral agreements (2022-23); and
  • launching new agriculture policy framework (April 2023).

Federal-provincial-territorial relations - Tab 7

Issue - Federal-provincial-territorial relations

Agriculture is a constitutionally-mandated concurrent federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) jurisdiction, with both levels of government playing a role in regulating and supporting the industry.

Background - Federal-provincial-territorial relations

The Constitution Act (1867), Section 95, establishes concurrent FPT jurisdiction over primary agriculture.

AAFC's collaboration with provinces and territories is formalized by the FPT multilateral and bilateral agreements, currently the 2018–2023 Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership). This framework defines the manner, purpose, and context in which governments work together on agricultural issues. Most government spending on agriculture flows through the Partnership agreements, and most direct support to producers is through the Business Risk Management suite of programs under the Partnership. Total spending is $3 billion over 5 years and $1.5 billion on average annually on Business Risk Management.

Through the Partnership:

  • overall policy objectives for the agriculture sector are set multilaterally with provinces and territories;
  • cost-shared program details are defined in bilateral agreements between the federal government and each province and/or territory at a 60/40 funding ratio (federal-provincial-territorial);
  • provinces and territories deliver the cost-shared programming in their jurisdictions; and
  • federal-only Partnership programs are delivered by AAFC.

FPT collaboration occurs on many levels:

  • Both federal and provincial governments support research, directly and in-house, through universities and partnerships with industry;
  • Major innovation, market development and research programming are governed by the multilateral Partnership cost-shared agreement and bilateral agreements;
  • Trade development is a shared jurisdiction. According to the Constitution, Section 91(2) gives the federal government jurisdiction over international and inter-provincial trade and commerce, while provinces have responsibility for intra-provincial trade and commerce under Section 92(13). Federal and provincial governments are both active on this front and coordinate efforts through multilateral and bilateral engagement.
  • The Agreement on Internal Trade ensures that technical measures adopted by governments do not restrict interprovincial trade more than is necessary to achieve legitimate objectives; and
  • While international trade policy is a federal jurisdiction, some features of free trade agreements bind provinces. Consultation mechanisms are in place to engage provinces on a regular basis.

However, there are times when governments act alone. The federal government has broad legislative authority under the Farm Income Protection Act and the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Act to take action (for example, to support producers) where special circumstances exist. Provinces also have the discretion to create provincial-only programs, and several provinces operate programs outside of the Partnership framework (such as fish and seafood processing and domestic market development for seafood in British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces).

Federal-provincial-territorial working relationship

An important event in the federal relationship with provinces and territories is the annual conference of FPT ministers of agriculture. At the annual conference, which traditionally takes place in July, FPT ministers review progress and make commitments on priorities of national scope and significance. Additional ad hoc meetings of FPT ministers are scheduled throughout the year.

A provincial or territorial co-chair rotates on an annual basis and is responsible, along with the federal Minister, for leading discussions and hosting the Annual Conference. Ontario is the 2019–20 provincial co-chair, and Saskatchewan will take over the role in July 2020.

Throughout the remainder of the year, FPT collaboration continues on a regular basis, driven by the policy priorities determined by ministers at the July 2019 Annual Conference and other emerging issues. FPT deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers address issues, make recommendations to ministers, and implement ministerial decisions. FPT deputy ministers usually meet twice a year in person, with assistant deputy ministers meeting quarterly. This is in addition to regular calls by both these tables (every 6 to 8 weeks).

Through this ongoing, multilateral structure, federal, provincial and territorial governments

  • establish nationally agreed upon policy objectives and outcomes;
  • promote equitable treatment for all producers across the country;
  • minimize competitive advantages between the products of one province versus another; and
  • minimize trade actions from our trading partners.

While many issues may be addressed multilaterally, some are strictly bilateral. Throughout their mandate, where opportunities or key issues arise, the federal minister will hold bilateral meetings with their provincial and/or territorial counterparts.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership federal programming - Tab 8

Note: Some values have been updated for accuracy since these materials were presented to the Minister.

Purpose - Canadian Agricultural Partnership federal programming

In addition to investments of $2 billion in cost-shared programming with the provinces and territories, the Government is also investing over $1 billion over five years in federal programming under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) to strengthen the agricultural sector by ensuring continued innovation, growth and prosperity.

Background - Canadian Agricultural Partnership federal programming

Under the Partnership, programs and services support sector needs under the following six priority areas:

  • science, research and innovation;
  • markets and trade;
  • environmental sustainability and climate change;
  • value-added agriculture and agri-food processing;
  • public trust; and
  • risk management.

The Partnership programs and services were developed based on extensive consultations with producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors to fit the changing needs of the agricultural landscape. Federal programming under the Partnership focuses on three key areas:

  • Growing trade and expanding markets ($297 million) — providing core industry services, such as timely market information and sector expertise to help improve the sector's competitiveness, growth and adaptability. Advancing and defending international trade interests, as well as improving market development and market access activities. This includes
    • AgriMarketing — focuses on helping increase and diversify exports through industry-led promotion activities; and
    • AgriCompetitiveness — assists industry-led efforts to provide producers with the information they need to build capacity and support the sector's development.
  • Innovative and sustainable growth of the sector ($690 million) — enhancing the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation, and adoption of innovative products and practices, with an emphasis on the environment and clean growth. This includes
    • AgriInnovate — aims to help applicants get their innovation projects, that increase competitiveness and sustainability, to market; and
    • AgriScience —commercialization activities and investing in cutting-edge research.
  • Supporting diversity and a dynamic, evolving sector ($166.5 million) — strengthening the sector by better reflecting the diversity of Canadian communities, enhancing collaboration across different jurisdictions through a new Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program, securing and supporting public trust in the sector, and improving client services. This includes
    • Agri-Diversity — strengthens the sector by helping diverse groups build skills and take on leadership roles; and
    • AgriAssurance — supports industry in meeting consumer needs for Canada's high quality products.

AgriMarketing Program

Purpose - AgriMarketing Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the AgriMarketing Program is a $121-million federal initiative to help the industry increase and diversify exports to international markets and seize market opportunities.

Background - AgriMarketing Program

The program supports industry-led promotional activities that differentiate Canadian products and producers, and leverage Canada's reputation for high quality and safe food.

The program was designed to have two components.

National Industry Association component – Designed to assist industry associations to address a market access issue, develop a new market, or expand or maintain an existing market, through activities such as: industry-wide advertising and promotion, exploratory missions, market research, and participation in industry meetings or trade shows. It is open to not-for-profit organizations operating in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products industry, including fish and seafood, operating on either a national or regional basis. As of fall 2019, the program has approved 51 projects under the National Industry Association component for $64,848,846.

For example, this component approved up to $2,907,622 in funding for Pulse Canada's project to increase demand for Canadian pulses around the world by marketing the nutritional value, health benefits and sustainability of Canadian pulses.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises component – Assists small and medium-sized enterprises expand into international markets through activities such as marketing and advertising, food service promotions, trade seminars, and technical training for buyers. As of fall 2019, the program has approved 132 projects under the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises component for $4,325,002.

The Government recently increased the amount of funding available to small and medium-sized enterprises under the CanExport Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Program delivered by Global Affairs Canada. Therefore, as of August 22, 2019, the CanExport Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Program started to support the enterprises that were previously eligible under the AgriMarketing Program. This change was made to ensure consistent export development services and market support for all Canadian businesses. AAFC officials are working closely with Global Affairs Canada and applicants to ensure a smooth transition.

AgriCompetitiveness Program

Purpose - AgriCompetitiveness Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriCompetitiveness is a $20.5-million program to assist industry-led efforts to provide producers with information needed to build capacity and support the sector's development.

Background - AgriCompetitiveness Program

Funding supports sector-led activities, such as farmer-oriented seminars and conferences, and activities which raise agricultural awareness.

Applications can be submitted at any time until September 30, 2022, or until all funding has been fully committed. Eligible applicants are not-for-profit organizations. Eligible activities include the development, sharing, and dissemination of information through events, conferences, workshops, trainings, tools, web sites, newsletters; development of business management, assessment and planning capacity in the industry and businesses; development of leadership and entrepreneurship throughout the sector and for youth and beginning farmers; and awareness activities undertaken by important domestic agricultural fairs and exhibitions with an international focus.

For example, Agriculture in the Classroom Canada has been approved for $983,400 over three years (2018 to 2021). The goal is to inspire future agriculture leaders, sector workforce participants, and create informed consumers, while continuing to build public trust in Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector.

The available non-repayable funding is $1 million per year per recipient, up to a maximum of $5 million over five years. For fairs and exhibitions, $100,000 is available per year for a maximum of $500,000 over five years. Costs are shared at a ratio of 50/50.

As of fall 2019, the program has approved nine projects for $10,152,968.

AgriScience Program

Purpose - AgriScience Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience is a $338-million initiative to accelerate the pace of innovation by supporting industry-led, leading edge discovery and applied science.

Background - AgriScience Program

The program supports leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities. Designed to accelerate the pace of innovation, the program supports pre-commercialization activities and invests in cutting-edge research to benefit the agricultural and agri-food sector.

Support is available in the form of non-repayable contributions and/or collaborative support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) research scientists.

AgriScience offers funding and support through two components:

  • AgriScience Program — Clusters (no longer open for applications): Supports industry-led science and research projects that address priority themes and horizontal issues, as well as coordinated research activities across Canada. Cluster funding recipients are encouraged to address environment and climate change issues unique to their sector and are required to support research dissemination, extension and decision support tools for producers. 19 clusters (such as beef, dairy and canola) have been approved for $182 million. For example, the Integrated Crop Agronomy Cluster is undertaking research to better understand the causes of pesticide drift on the Canadian Prairies. Eligible applicants under Clusters were not-for-profit organizations, with academic institutions being eligible as co-applicants only. Applicants were eligible to apply for a maximum AAFC funding amount of $20 million over five-years and no less than $5 million of AAFC funding over five-years. All clusters are cost-shared with recipients with a maximum of 70% funded by AAFC.
  • AgriScience Program – Projects supports specific shorter-term (one to five years) science projects to help industry overcome challenges and address fiscal barriers experienced by small and emerging sectors. Projects also seek to mitigate high risk opportunities that have the potential to yield significant returns. Project activities must address key industry and government priorities. 33 projects for $41.5 million have been approved. For example, one 5-year project is developing ways to use agriculture and food waste to produce bio-carbon, in order to reduce the need for petroleum-based carbon.

This program component is open to both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
The maximum AAFC funding for a project is less than $5 million over five years.
Eligible project costs will normally be shared between AAFC and the recipient as follows:

  • Not-for-profit organizations
    • a maximum of 70% funded by AAFC and a minimum of 30% funded by the applicant.
  • For-profit organizations
    • a maximum of 50% funded by AAFC and a minimum of 50% funded by the applicant.

The program also provides access to AAFC scientists to conduct research that will advance science and benefit the industry. Industry may apply to the program for funds to pay operating costs of research projects conducted by AAFC scientists where the Intellectual Property is owned by AAFC and/or where the expertise lies within AAFC.

As of fall 2019, approximately $238.6 million has been approved across the two components of the AgriScience program.

AgriInnovate Program

Purpose - AgriInnovate Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the AgriInnovate Program is a $128-million initiative that aims to accelerate the demonstration, commercialization, and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase agri-sector competitiveness and sustainability.

Background - AgriInnovate Program

The program provides repayable contributions to projects that support innovation new to the sector or country and focus on one or more of the following priorities:

  • Adopt new or world leading clean technology;
  • Increase productivity through advanced manufacturing, automation or robotics;
  • Strengthen Canada's value-added agri-sectors; and
  • Secure or expand new export markets.

The program is open to for-profit organizations operating in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector such as businesses and corporations, co-operatives, and Indigenous organizations. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis until March 31, 2023, or until funding has been fully committed.

Applicants may apply for AgriInnovate Program funding for up to 50% of total eligible costs, to a maximum of $10 million. Total Canadian Government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments or their agencies) funding will not exceed 75% of eligible project costs.

As of fall 2019, the program has received 264 pre-screening forms and 49 full applications. ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ Thirteen projects have been approved to date with a committed total of $53 million. ███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████

AgriAssurance Program

Purpose - AgriAssurance Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriAssurance is a $74-million federal initiative to foster public trust by helping industry develop and adopt systems, standards and tools that enable them to make credible, meaningful and verifiable claims about the health, safety and quality of Canadian agricultural and agri-food products, and the manner in which they are produced.

Background - AgriAssurance Program

The program complements food safety standards/policies and health risk assessment decisions of Health Canada as well as food safety laws and regulations of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The program's emphasis is on developing and updating assurance systems that reinforce food safety, public trust, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, biosecurity and traceability.

The Program offers funding through two components:

  1. National Industry Association component — To assist not-for-profit industry associations to develop assurance systems, standards or tools, such as food safety standards, animal and plant health surveillance systems, animal welfare codes, environmental sustainability standards, traceability systems, and system integration.

    For example the Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) have been approved for two projects for a total of $7,907,007 in funding over five years (2018 to 2023). The projects are designed to enhance public trust by furthering the development and implementation of DFC's quality assurance program, proAction®, as well as developing and implementing the Dairy Trace Program, a national dairy cattle traceability system.

  2. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises component — To assist for-profit small and medium-sized enterprises organizations to obtain third-party certification when it is required to meet an export opportunity. For example, Gidney Fisheries Ltd., a Nova Scotia lobster processing facility, was approved for up to $13,904 to help the company gain the British Retail Consortium Global Standard and Costco certifications required to do business with many large international retail companies.

    Applications can be submitted at any time until September 30, 2022, or until all funding has been fully committed. The available non-repayable funding for the national industry association component is up to $1.0 million per project over five years. The program has the authority to go beyond this amount if deemed necessary. Available funding for the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises component is up to $50,000 per project (up to a maximum of $100,000 over five years) with costs shared at a ratio of 50/50.

As of fall 2019, 40 projects (31 national industry associations and nine small and medium-sized enterprises) have been approved for $40,450,892.

AgriDiversity Program

Purpose - AgriDiversity Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriDiversity is a $5-million initiative to help under-represented groups in Canadian agriculture, including youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities to participate in the sector.

Background - AgriDiversity Program

The program arose as a result of engagement sessions and consultations with stakeholders who noted that opportunities within the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector have not been capitalized by all groups in society, including women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, and persons with disabilities, who all continue to be under-represented in the sector. The AgriDiversity program intends to minimize some of the barriers to entry experienced by under-represented groups. These barriers can include a lack of awareness of career opportunities and the need for business skills and knowledge specific to the agriculture and agri-food sector.

The program is open to not-for-profit organizations including associations, Indigenous organizations, and Official Language Minority Communities. Funding is up to $200,000 per year per recipient, up to a maximum of $1 million over five years. Costs are shared at a ratio of 50/50; however, AAFC funding levels may be increased if deemed necessary to achieve the objectives under the project. While the program gives priority to proposals that are cost-shared at 50%, all proposals received are considered.

One project approved under the program is a train-the-trainer program to build the entrepreneurial capacity and business skills of Indigenous Peoples, youth, and women on farm. The objective is to promote entrepreneurship and careers in agriculture and agri-food among First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and non-Indigenous youth and women through the provision of education, training, mentorship and hands on learning opportunities related to northern food development.

Applications can be submitted at any time until September 20, 2022, or until all funding has been fully committed. As of fall 2019, AgriDiversity has approved 9 projects for $1,868,362.

Canadian Agricultural Partnership cost-shared programming

Purpose - Canadian Agricultural Partnership cost-shared programming

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Partnership), governments are investing $2 billion for cost-shared programming. This investment is shared 60% ($1.2 billion) by the federal government and 40% ($800 million) by provincial and territorial governments. The cost-shared programming includes programming designed and delivered by the provinces and territories to address the needs in their jurisdiction. It also includes $165 million in federally delivered activities that benefit all provinces, for example the trade access secretariat and value chain roundtables.

Background - Canadian Agricultural Partnership cost-shared programming

The five year partnership took effect on April 1, 2018 and will terminate on March 31, 2023. It is the fourth Federal-Provincial-Territorial Multilateral Framework Agreement (MFA) on Agriculture. The MFA sets out the shared policy agenda, framework provisions and funding targets of the parties. The MFA also provides guidance for the development of the provincial/territorial programming that is included in bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

Under the partnership, the programming delivered by provinces and territories responds to provincial/territorial needs while advancing the following six priority areas:

  • science, research and innovation
  • markets and trade
  • environmental sustainability and climate change
  • value-added agriculture and agri-food processing
  • public trust
  • risk management.

Bilateral agreements have been signed with all provinces and territories which set out the terms and conditions of Canada's financial contributions to provinces and territories. They also set out the general provisions related to spending and the flow of Canada's contributions to all designated programs that are delivered by or through a province/territory.

A key commitment under the partnership is to demonstrate the value and results of the collective investments in the sector. Provinces and territories have started reporting on spending under their cost-shared programs in August 2019 and the information is now being tabulated for discussions with the provinces and territories this winter. Each year, the provinces and territories will continue to report on performance, providing greater detail on results achieved as they become available. Performance reports will be provided at the annual ministers' meetings each July based on the information collected.

As provinces and territories design and deliver most cost-shared programming, project applications are submitted directly to the provincial or territorial governments. AAFC does not track most project details.

Capital and/or infrastructure expenditures from cost-shared funding, that exceed $500,000 in federal funding must be submitted to AAFC for prior written authorization. As of October 25, 2019, nine requests for prior authorization have been approved for $10.1 million.

In 2018–2019, over $174 million in federal funding was expended for cost-shared programming. While less than the original funding target for 2018–2019, the MFA allowed for the difference to be carried into the target for 2019–2020.

Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program

Purpose - Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program is a $3-million program that provides an additional federal contribution to provincial and territorial governments that come together on projects that address shared challenges and/or priorities. The objective is to further encourage regional collaboration under the Partnership.

Background - Regional Collaborative Partnerships Program

The program provides a maximum of 25%, up to $125,000, of the total eligible project costs. Projects that benefit the territories, northern communities, Indigenous Peoples and/or under-represented groups are prioritized, along with those with a focus on environment, climate change and/or innovation.For a project that supports collaboration among the territories, northern communities, Indigenous Peoples and/or other under-represented groups, applicants may receive a maximum of 75% or $375,000 of project costs. The maximum contribution to any provincial or territorial government is $750,000 over the life of the program.

As of fall 2019, the program has approved two projects:

  • Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the departments of agriculture in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, have been approved for $125,000 to support collaborative research, addressing specific challenges with pollination in Atlantic Canada and maximizing benefits for the honey bee and blueberry sectors;
  • Yukon Department of Energy, Mines and Natural Resources, in collaboration with the Government of Northwest Territories, have been approved for $90,000 to conduct a review of their legislation and regulations related to agriculture and food production.

Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2022, or until all funding has been fully committed.

AgriRisk Initiatives

Purpose - AgriRisk Initiatives

The AgriRisk Initiatives program is intended to assist industry in developing new risk management tools for producers.

Background - AgriRisk Initiatives

While Business Risk Management (BRM) programs provide direct support, producers want access to a range of tools to manage risk. This includes privately financed insurance or risk management tools to supplement publicly financed programs. The AgriRisk Initiatives program is intended to help pilot such tools.

The AgriRisk Initiatives program provides $55 million up to March 31, 2023, and is part of the BRM suite of programs.

The AgriRisk Initiatives program has two funding streams:

  1. Research and Development (R&D) — $29 million for contribution funding and microgrants
    • The objective of the R&D stream is to support stakeholder groups in developing new, tailored risk management tools to fill identified gaps in existing risk management tools and increase the participation of the private sector in developing such tools.
    • R&D contribution funding recipients are non-profit organizations and can receive up to $500,000 per year. Microgrants, a new category under the R&D stream open to academic and non-profit organizations, provides up to $25,000 per year in funding for academic research proposals.
    • The R&D stream completed a call for applications on September 28, 2018. In total, 12 R&D projects and four microgrants have been approved for funding. The R&D stream re-opened in August, 2019 to begin receiving new proposals on an ongoing basis. The Microgrant component plans to reopen later in 2019 to target academic institutions during the academic year.
  2. Administrative Capacity Building — $26 million over five years:
    • The objective of the Administrative Capacity Building stream is to support the implementation of pilots of new risk management tools. Recipients can receive up to $5 million per year.
    • The Administrative Capacity Building stream operates on a continuous intake process. To date under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the flagship Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP), a partnership between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and all four western provinces, has been approved for funding. WLPIP provides producers with protection against an unexpected drop in prices on cattle and hogs over a defined period of time. WLPIP is self-financed through producer premiums, with AgriRisk providing support for initial overhead expenses. The federal contribution to the WLPIP totals approximately $13.5 million ($2.7 million annually from 2018–2019 to 2022–2023).

Considerations - AgriRisk Initiatives

The BRM Review External Panel of Experts, consisting of producers, academia and global experts on risk management, presented a series of recommendations to federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture at the annual FPT conference in July 2018, including a recommendation to support the development of industry-led "top-up" tools to provide farmers with flexibility in addressing losses not currently covered in the BRM suite. As such under the R&D stream, AAFC targets projects that address risks that are a priority to industry, and that are not adequately addressed by currently available risk management tools.


Purpose - AgriInvest

The AgriInvest program is part of the federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs and is a self-managed producer-government matched savings account. AgriInvest is designed to help manage income declines and make investments to manage risk and improve market income.

Background - AgriInvest

Producers make annual deposits into AgriInvest accounts held in participating financial institutions, and receive matching government contributions. Producers can withdraw funds from their AgriInvest accounts at any time.

Each year, producers deposit an amount up to their total farm income into their AgriInvest accounts and receive a matching contribution on the first one% of allowable income from governments, and the maximum government contribution is $10,000 per year. For example, a producer with $100,000 in allowable income can deposit up to $100,000 and federal and provincial governments will make a matching contribution of $1,000 on the first $1,000 deposited to the account.

AgriInvest provided an average of $277 million annually in government contributions over the duration of the last five year FPT framework (2013 to 2017). While applications for the 2018 program year are still being processed, government contributions are forecast to be $229.3 million. Since 2007, over $3.4 billion in government contributions have been deposited into producers' AgriInvest accounts across Canada, and producers have withdrawn close to $4.6 billion of the combined producer/government funds from the accounts.

Government contributions and costs to administer AgriInvest are shared between the federal government and the provinces and territories on a 60:40 basis. AgriInvest is delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the Yukon and all provinces except Quebec. In Quebec, AgriInvest is delivered provincially.

Government contributions are tax-free until they are withdrawn from AgriInvest accounts. Producers must withdraw government contributions before withdrawing producer funds they have deposited.

AgriInvest has the highest participation rate of all BRM programs. Approximately 80% of producers in Canada, accounting for 94% of market revenues, participate in AgriInvest. Producers currently have access to over $2.4 billion in their AgriInvest accounts. The $2.4 billion includes $2.2 billion in combined producer and government contributions, as well as $200 million in accumulated interest on the AgriInvest accounts, producer contributions in excess of the amount matched by government, and a small amount of the funds remaining from the KickStart Program when AgriInvest was launched in 2007. On average, producers have an account balance of approximately $23,825.

Considerations - AgriInvest

The AgriInvest program was introduced in 2007 to improve the timeliness and predictability of payments under the BRM suite, and thereby reduce the necessity for the Government of Canada to establish ad hoc assistance programs to producers. Under AgriInvest, producers have the flexibility to decide when and how much of their AgriInvest savings to withdraw. When producers face a disaster or disruptive event (i.e., grain transportation issues, drought, disease outbreaks, etc.), the Program provides quick access to cash to address immediate needs.


Purpose - AgriStability

The AgriStability program is part of the federal-provincial-territorial suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs, which provides individualized support to producers to manage risks and financial losses due to poor yields, low commodity prices or rising input costs.

Background - AgriStability

The Program is the second largest BRM program behind AgriInsurance. Under Growing Forward 2 (2013 to 2017), program payments averaged about $313 million per year. Applications for the 2018 program year are still being processed, so final figures are not yet available on program spending for the first year of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership).

A producer generally must enroll annually and pay a fee to participate in the Program. The median fee is $300. The program uses an estimate of an individual producer's net income, known as “margin,” to calculate program benefits. Margins are calculated as the allowable revenue minus the allowable expenses in a given year.

The level of support a producer receives is based on current and historical (last five years') margins. A producer receives a payment if their current year margin drops by more than 30% relative to their historical margin. The portion of the margin decline beyond this point is compensated at 70%. The maximum benefit a producer can receive from the program is $3 million (per program year).

Government contributions and costs to administer AgriStability are shared between the federal government and the provinces and territories on a 60:40 basis. AgriStability is delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) for Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon. In all other provinces, AgriStability is delivered by the respective provincial administration. There is no AgriStability offered in Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

Considerations - AgriStability

Two key changes to the program were made in 2013. The first was to increase the size of margin decline before triggering a payment (from 15% to 30%). The second was a limit on a producer's historical margins, the basis for the level of support available, to ensure the program paid on true income losses, and not fluctuations in profit.

Participation in the program has been gradually declining since 2012. Reasons for this decline could include a decade of positive years of increased growth in the sector, and the complexity and unpredictability of the program. In response to declining participation and to ensure support can be available in times of real need, FPT governments agreed to introduce the late participation mechanism as part of the Partnership. Under this mechanism, a province can initiate (with agreement from Canada) and allow producers to join the Program after the enrolment deadline for a given year, in cases where there is a severe event in the sector and a gap in participation in the affected population. However, to encourage proactive enrolment, producers joining late have program benefits reduced by 20%; some provinces initiated the late participation process in previous program years.

As part of the current Partnership, a review of BRM programs was completed in 2018. One key finding from the review was the need to address the timeliness, simplicity and predictability challenges with the Program. FPT officials have been developing options, and presented an initial set to ministers at the July 2019 FPT meeting. At the same time, given recent market disruptions, notably in China, industry has been asking for the level of support under the program to be restored to the levels under Growing Forward (that is, a 15% margin decline to trigger versus the current 30% decline and elimination of the limit on historical margins). Recognizing the need for changes in the face of this pressure, FPT ministers have asked officials to work toward targeted changes for the 2020 program year, with a specific focus on incenting the adoption of producer-paid insurance to complement AgriStability.


Purpose - AgriInsurance

The AgriInsurance Program is part of the federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) suite of Business Risk Management programs. It provides subsidized insurance coverage to minimize the financial impacts of production losses caused by uncontrollable natural perils, such as flood, drought and disease.

Background - AgriInsurance

The program is commonly referred to as ‘crop insurance' and has been provided, in various forms, to producers for over 50 years.

In terms of spending, the Program is the largest of the business risk management programs, with government costs averaging over $1 billion per program year during Growing Forward 2 (2013 to 2017), and $887 million in the first year of the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership (2018 to 2023). The premium charged to producers, rather than the payments producers receive, accounts for 60% of government costs for the program.

The federal and provincial governments cost-share a portion of the premium costs, together with program participants to ensure the affordability of coverage for producers (generally, 36% federal, 24% provincial and 40% producer). Governments also fully cost-share the administrative costs of the program (60:40 federal-provincial).

The insurance products offered under the program are developed, implemented, delivered and administered by the provinces. Each province offers different insurance products based on producer needs and the crops grown in their specific province. The insurance products developed must comply with the Farm Income Protection Act, the Canada Production Insurance Regulations, the Multilateral Framework Agreement, and the Actuarial Certification Guidelines. Territorial governments do not currently offer AgriInsurance.

Each province maintains an insurance fund account (funded by premiums) to pay indemnities to insured producers, and to pay the premiums for any private reinsurance agreements. As of March 31, 2018, the sum of all provincial insurance fund accounts was $6,362,681,663, with provincial balances ranging from $170,970 in Newfoundland and Labrador to $2,694,432,000, in Alberta.

Producers must proactively buy insurance either before an agricultural product is planted or before any damage is possible. Producers select the agricultural product they wish to insure, the type of insurance plan, the coverage level, and the insurable value from the options available in their province. When a producer's production falls below their insured coverage level, they are compensated.

In addition to basic production loss compensation, provinces often provide additional benefits, such as quality loss protection, reseeding and unseeded acreage benefits, perennial plant protection, and compensation for losses to agricultural products and livestock caused by wildlife.

In 2017, there were 68,900 farms insured across Canada covering close to 69 million acres (total crop acreage in 2016 was 93.4 million acres). Insurance products are available for the vast majority of the crop value produced in Canada. Under the program, 88% of the value of all agricultural products produced (excluding livestock) was eligible for insurance in 2016.

Considerations - AgriInsurance

The program is generally well accepted and understood by producers, and works well for traditional field crops where yields are easily measured (such as grains and oilseeds).

Horticulture crops have been more difficult to insure as there can be numerous harvest periods throughout the year and sales can be directly marketed to consumers. Similar challenges exist for livestock forage (hay) crops where there are multiple harvests, or the crop is eaten directly by livestock. Program participation for these crops tends to be lower due to challenges in developing plans that meet the needs of producers.

While livestock is eligible under the program (e.g. mortality insurance), such plans are difficult to design to be effective and attractive to producers. Few are currently in operation. The challenges relate to accurately calculating production losses and related costs, such as the premiums, which are high due to the potential for significant losses (for example, case of a disease). Livestock producers tend to use financial tools such as price protection insurance to mitigate price declines.

Although most provincial insurance fund balances are currently in the surplus position, provinces are ultimately responsible for deficits in the program (when indemnities exceed accumulated premiums). Provinces address and mitigate the impacts of major program losses through their own combination of mechanisms, including

  • provincial backstopping, where provinces advance money to the program when required
  • federal-provincial deficit financing, where funds are advanced to the program, and are reimbursed over time from the premiums collected
  • private reinsurance, purchased coverage to limit cash flow fluctuations and minimize the need to draw on deficit financing.




Purpose - AgriRecovery

The AgriRecovery framework is part of the federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) suite of Business Risk Management programs. It provides a coordinated process for federal, provincial and territorial governments to assess the impacts of natural disasters (such as extreme weather, diseases and pests) on producers, and, where required, to respond with targeted financial assistance.

Background - AgriRecovery

AgriRecovery initiatives provide support for the extraordinary costs of actions producers must take to resume production as quickly as possible and/or mitigate the impacts following a disaster. AgriRecovery is intended to complement, but not duplicate, support available under other business risk management programs.

Initiatives are typically delivered by the province or territory. Program and administrative costs are cost-shared between the federal government and the province or territory on a 60:40 basis.

Since 2006, 48 initiatives have paid out over $940 million (federal-provincial) to assist producers in recovering from a variety of disease and weather-related disasters. Nine of these initiatives, representing $37 million (federal-provincial) were launched under Growing Forward 2 (2013-2017).

Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has received six formal requests for assessments under the AgriRecovery framework, three of which have resulted in AgriRecovery initiatives:

  • 2018 Canada-Prince Edward Island Fall Harvest Recovery Initiative provides $15.6 million in financial assistance ($9.36 million in federal funds) to help agricultural producers recover from the extraordinary costs associated with excessive moisture and cold temperatures during the 2018 fall harvest.
  • 2018 Canada-British Columbia Bovine Tuberculosis Assistance Initiative provides $1 million ($600,000 in federal funds) to assist British Columbia livestock producers impacted by the 2018 Bovine tuberculosis investigation initiated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in November, 2018.
  • 2018 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire Recovery Initiative provides $5 million in financial assistance ($3 million in federal funding) to British Columbia producers for the extraordinary costs associated with the damage to crops, grazing lands and the movement and loss of animals due to wildfires that occurred in the province during the summer of 2018.

Federal funding for an AgriRecovery initiative is drawn from an annual federal funding allocation of $125 million.


Competitiveness and Trade

Frameworks for Canada’s Agricultural Trade Activities - Tab 9

Purpose - Frameworks for Canada’s Agricultural Trade Activities

Sustained growth and prosperity of Canadian agriculture depends on the ability to compete effectively in world markets. Canada engages multilaterally at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and through its free trade agreements (FTAs) to enhance access to markets.

Background - Frameworks for Canada’s Agricultural Trade Activities

In 2018, Canada's agricultural and agri-food exports to the world were valued at C$66.3 billion (including seafood), and Canada's agricultural and agri-food imports from the world totalled C$50.3 billion resulting in a positive trade balance of C$16 billion. Over half of Canada's agricultural, fish and seafood production is exported. Canada is pursuing an active multilateral, regional and bilateral trade negotiations agenda in order to expand export opportunities for Canadian agricultural producers, processors and exporters.

The WTO is the cornerstone of the international trading system and of Canadian trade policy. The WTO, and its Agreements, set out predictable, science-based rules for multilateral trade. The main WTO agreements that apply to agricultural trade are the Agreement on Agriculture, the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement establishes the right of members to take measures necessary to protect food safety and animal and plant health. The Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement addresses technical regulations standards (for example, labelling requirements).

The WTO Agreement on Agriculture sets out trade rules for agriculture in three key areas: market access (tariffs), domestic support (subsidies given by governments to their own farmers) and export competition (such as subsidies conditional on exports). The objective of the Agreement on Agriculture is to reform agricultural trade and to make policies more market-oriented, benefiting importers and exporters of agricultural products, while minimizing trade distortions.

There are currently negotiations on new rules at the WTO and those negotiations will continue at the next WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2020.

The WTO also provides members with a legal framework for resolving disputes, known as the dispute settlement process. Many WTO members, including Canada, make active use of this system. However, the WTO dispute settlement process could effectively cease to be operational this year. WTO dispute settlement rules allow either party of a dispute to appeal the findings of a panel to the Appellate Body, which is a standing body of seven members who serve four year terms. The United States has blocked the appointment of new Appellate Body members since 2017, and the terms of two of the remaining three members will expire on December 10, 2019. Three Appellate Body members are required to hear any appeal. Having fewer than three Appellate Body members could have the effect of rendering all active and future panel findings, that members decide to appeal, non-binding. This is because WTO Members are not entitled to seek compensation or retaliation based on panel findings while an appeal is pending. Nonetheless all major WTO members, including Canada and the United States, have continued to launch WTO disputes in this climate of uncertainty.

Canada's regional and bilateral FTAs build on and complement the WTO agreements. The objective is to ensure that our exporters can continue to compete effectively in key export markets and diversify our exports.

Canada has implemented FTAs with a number of countries (see Annex A). Canada has an active FTA agenda with ongoing negotiations with Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru), consultations on the potential expansion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) and the recent signature of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.

Canada's efforts on bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations are complemented by an active presence in a number of other international institutions such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. In all fora, Canada advocates for robust, science-based trade rules that are based on relevant international standards which contribute to a transparent, predictable trading environment that reduces business risks and facilitates market access.

As a significant producer and exporter of agricultural products of biotechnology, Canada also actively promotes trade facilitative approaches in this area. For example, Canada is the host Secretariat for the Global Low Level Presence Initiative, a group of 15 countries committed to working collaboratively to develop practical approaches to managing and preventing low level presence occurrences. Low level presence occurs when small amounts of genetically modified grain, assessed as safe according to international guidelines by at least one country but not approved in the importing country, is unintentionally present in exports to that country.

Annex A: Status of Canada's regional and bilateral and multilateral trade initiatives

Implemented free trade agreements

  • Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force January 1, 1989
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada, United States, Mexico) – Entered into force January 1, 1994
  • Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force January 1, 1997; Modernization Agreement entered into force September 1, 2019
  • Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force July 5, 1997; modernization Agreement entered into force February 5, 2019
  • Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement  – Entered into force November 1, 2002
  • Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) – Entered into force July 1, 2009
  • Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force August 1, 2009
  • Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force August 15, 2011
  • Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force October 1, 2012
  • Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force April 1, 2013
  • Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force October 1, 2014
  • Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force January 1, 2015
  • Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement – Entered into force August 1, 2017
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) - Entered into provisional application on September 21, 2017.
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – Entered into force on December 30, 2018 for Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam– Other signatories, but that have not ratified the Partnership are Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia and Peru.

Signed / Concluded Free Trade Agreements

Canada United States Mexico Agreement – Concluded October 1, 2018

Ongoing negotiations / future negotiations

  • Canada-Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru) – Invited to become an Associated State June 2017
  • Canada-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay) – Launched March 9, 2018
  • Canada-UK Trade Dialogue – The UK is not able to negotiate new FTAs until it leaves the EU (“Brexit”)

With little to no movement

  • Canada-Caribbean Community Free Trade Agreement (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Canada-Central American Countries Free Trade Agreement (El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua)
  • Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (modernization)
  • Canada-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement
  • Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Canada-Morocco Free Trade Agreement

Exploratory discussions / dialogue

  • Singapore – Launched October 2001
  • Thailand – Launched March 2012
  • Turkey – Exploratory discussions concluded September 2013
  • Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (modernization) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) – Launched informally in 2010
  • Philippines – Launched May 2015
  • China – Exploratory discussions concluded July 2017
  • ASEAN – (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) – Launched September 2017

Market access - Tab 10

Purpose - Market access

Agriculture and agri-food exports in 2018 totaled $66.3 billion (including seafood), representing almost half of Canada's total agricultural production. The profitability and potential for growth in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector lies in its ability to maintain and expand markets abroad, making market access a key priority for both governments and industry.

Background - Market access

Market access for agricultural goods refers to the conditions set by the importing country for the entry of goods into that market, which includes tariff and non-tariff measures, such as technical standards. Non-tariff measures include sanitary and phytosanitary measures (science-based rules to protect human, animal or plant life or health) technical regulations standards, and conformity assessment procedures. Tariff reductions can be negotiated through the World Trade Organization (WTO) agriculture negotiations or through bilateral/regional free trade agreements.

Efforts are required to address market access issues when they arise and to maintain sustained engagement with trade partners to maintain Canada's market access. In the context of agriculture and agri-food trade, the Federal Market Access Team is comprised of officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The team works closely with provinces, territories and industry to open, maintain and expand market access and protect existing access to foreign markets through advocacy, negotiations with foreign governments, and litigation.

The CFIA provides the technical expertise to resolve priority market access issues with on the-ground technical expertise in key markets in order to create export conditions required for Canadian agricultural goods to enter markets abroad. In addition, CFIA co-leads with GAC on free trade agreement negotiations regarding trade rules concerning food safety and the protection of Canada's plant and animal resource base.

AAFC focuses on maintaining and advancing broader bilateral relationships with trading partners and implementing country-level agriculture and agri-food sector market strategies.

Market access work is complemented by market development efforts (see Tab 11), which aim to build and expand commercial transactions abroad.

Resolving market access issues can be a lengthy and resource-intensive process. It requires sustained technical, political, and diplomatic efforts, as well as the ability to swiftly react to emerging issues and work collaboratively to achieve results. See the issue note on key market access issues for information on priority market access issues.

Market development - Tab 11

Purpose - Market development

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) works with provincial and industry partners to support the sector in market development efforts to promote exports.

Background - Market development

AAFC plays a lead coordination role with other federal departments, provinces, industry associations and other partners to connect Canadian exporters with targeted business opportunities, promote the advantages of Canadian agriculture and food products to both buyers and consumers, and provide industry with information and learning opportunities to understand the requirements of getting their products to market.

International Market Engagement Teams

AAFC has established International Market Engagement Teams for seven key markets (United States, Mexico, Greater China, Japan/South Korea, the European Union, Gulf Cooperation Council, and India). Each team includes membership from AAFC, Global Affairs Canada (both in-market and Ottawa-based Trade Commissioners), the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Export Development Canada and each of the provinces. Teams support increased pan-Canadian collaboration through the development and delivery of market development strategies and supporting annual tactical work plans in these priority markets.

The Canada Brand

AAFC manages a Canada Brand program that provides consistent and cohesive messaging and imagery that emphasize the strengths of Canada's sectors. The program is primarily utilized by provinces, industry associations, and Canadian companies. There are currently over 700 Canadian industry members of the program, most of them small and medium-sized enterprises. The Canada Brand is currently being updated through the Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign, including to refresh the imagery, messaging and promotional products.

Market information and intelligence

AAFC provides targeted and strategic market intelligence reports to the sector to support industry participation in major international trade shows and to support Canadian industry competitiveness in global markets. AAFC also provides analysis of opportunities for and competitiveness of the sector resulting from Canada's ratification of trade agreements.

Flagship trade shows

AAFC leads the Canadian presence at nine flagship trade shows in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These flagship shows are supported by the Canada Pavilion Program under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership. The program aims to make trade show participation easy for Canadian exhibiting companies. Highlights of the program include: focus on new to market, first-time exhibitors and innovative products, streamlined financial support, and a priority given to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency presence abroad - Tab 12

Purpose - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency presence abroad

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have a presence abroad to support agriculture and agri-food sector exporters access and expand business activities to international markets.

Background - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency presence abroad

AAFC and CFIA's International Affairs Branch has a Trade Commissioner Service and Technical Specialist Abroad Program, which complements the larger network of Global Affairs Canada (GAC) trade commissioners, who provide support to the agriculture and agri-food sector internationally.

AAFC and the CFIA programs include a total of 53 positions (40 AAFC and 13 CFIA) in Canadian embassies and/or consulates (missions) around the world (see Annex A). These positions represent a mix of Canada-based staff (Government of Canada employees who are posted abroad on assignment as trade commissioners or technical specialists for a specified period of time) and locally engaged staff (nationals of the country in question who are employed by the Government of Canada). In parallel, the GAC Trade Commissioner Service has approximately 100 positions abroad that support a portfolio of economic sectors, including agriculture. In addition, the CFIA has three trade specialist positions embedded within International Standard Setting Bodies (The Codex Alimentarius, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention) to coordinate the development of Government of Canada positions, support standards development and enhance their alignment with broader trade policy, market development and regulatory objectives.

The primary functions of Agriculture and Food trade commissioners and technical specialists abroad include

  • market access and trade: respond to or pre-empt disruptions of trade and mitigate trade irritants that arise;
  • technical discussions with foreign competent authorities: principal regulatory liaison for technical communications with foreign counterparts on issues related to food and animal health as well as on certification requirements;
  • market intelligence gathering and reporting: research and disseminate information on the dynamics and opportunities for Canadian agriculture and agri-food product clients in a marketplace;
  • international business development: promote Canadian food and agriculture (for example through trade shows and incoming missions) and support the development and implementation of integrated federal/provincial/industry market development strategies;
  • regulatory collaboration: facilitate the exports of Canadian food, plant and animal products, through the demonstration and reassurance of Canada's comprehensive regulatory regime;
  • network building: build and maintain a critical network of relationships and contacts in-market, regionally and in Canada – both government and industry;
  • advocacy: build the recognition in-market of the qualities of Canadian products and the value of the Canada Brand to better position Canadian industry to make trade advances in the market.
  • client support: provide specialized advice and in-market support for Canadian agriculture and food products sector clients to facilitate their trade requirements.
Annex A
Description of this image follows.
Description of above image

Technical specialists abroad and agriculture and food trade commissioners 2019

Americas Division
  • Washington: 1 AAFC, 1 CFIA
  • Guadalajara: 1 AAFC
  • Mexico: 3 AAFC, 2 CFIA
Europe, Middle East and Africa Division
  • London: 1 AAFC
  • Dusseldorf: 1 AAFC
  • Moscow: 2 AAFC, 1 CFIA
  • Brussels: 3 AAFC, 1 CFIA
  • Paris: 1 ISSB (OIE)
  • Rome: 1 AAFC, 2 ISSB (IPPC and Codex)
  • Dubai : 2 AAFC
 Asia and Oceania Division
  • Mumbai: 1 AAFC
  • New Delhi: 3 AAFC, 1 CFIA
  • Jakarta: 2 AAFC
  • Seoul: 3 AAFC
  • Nagoya: 1 AAFC
  • Tokyo: 1 AAFC, 2 CFIA
  • Beijing: 4 AAFC, 2 CFIA
  • Chongqing: 1 AAFC
  • Hanoi: 1 AAFC
  • Hong Kong: 2 AAFC
  • Manila: 1 AAFC
  • Shanghai: 1 AAFC
  • Taipei: 1 AAFC

Regulatory Initiatives - Tab 13

Issue - Regulatory Initiatives

Industry has consistently identified regulatory burden as a significant impediment to growth and innovation, which can make achieving Canada's ambitious growth targets challenging.

Background - Regulatory Initiatives

The agriculture and agri-food sector operates within a regulatory system which includes acts and regulations in place to protect and advance the public interest in health, safety and security, the quality of the environment, access to markets, and the social and economic well-being of Canadians. They also contribute to promoting consumer confidence in Canadian products and services. Key regulators for the sector include Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada (including the Pest Management Regulatory Agency), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Transport Canada.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Portfolio are responsible for over 280 regulatory instruments under 13 acts (see Mandate and Legislative Authorities). AAFC regulatory instruments are mostly designed to enable the creation of programming and services for the sector and Canadians (see Annex A).

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a regulatory reform agenda focused on supporting innovation and business investment. The agri-food and aquaculture sector was one of three sectors identified for the three-year “targeted regulatory reviews,” a comprehensive approach to address regulatory irritants and update regulations.

Following stakeholder engagement, the Government released the Regulatory Roadmap for the Agri-Food and Aquaculture sector on June 7, 2019. Four main areas for concern emerged from consultations with stakeholders during the development of the Roadmap:

  • Regulations are outdated, overly prescriptive, unclear and not-sufficiently risk-based.
  • Canadian competitiveness and trade interests are not adequately supported by the regulatory system.
  • Regulatory programs are not timely, predictable, sufficiently risk-based or efficient.
  • Novel approaches are needed to address longstanding regulatory issues including, assessment of cumulative impacts and complexity in navigating the regulatory system.

The Roadmap included detailed proposals aimed to address concerns. AAFC is the lead on two of these proposals:

  • Modernizing the grains regulatory framework and initiating a review of the Canada Grain Act to ensure they are aligned with current market realities; and,
  • Improving government-stakeholder collaboration to solve agriculture and agri-food regulatory irritants and strengthen analytical capacity to better understand cumulative and economic impacts of regulations across the sector.

The 2018 Fall Economic Statement also announced a number of initiatives aimed at regulatory modernization, including the creation of a Center for Regulatory Innovation, efforts to explore making regulatory efficiency and economic growth a permanent part of regulators' mandates, and the launch of an External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness.

Considerations - Regulatory Initiatives

As per the division of powers under section 95 of the Constitution Act, 1867, agriculture is a concurrent federal-provincial jurisdiction. Regulations that affect the sector are therefore enforced by multiple federal and provincial departments and agencies, and impact stakeholders in different ways. Modernizing Canada's regulatory system offers positive impacts for the sector.

While Canada's science-based regulatory system is strong, there are opportunities to better reflect the broader operating environment (such as emerging technologies, international interconnectedness, global value chains) and industry growth opportunities. For instance, without a clear and predictable regulatory system for approval of innovative products and technology, companies may invest their research and development in other countries.

Following recent regulatory policy engagement exercises, stakeholder expectations for concrete regulatory improvements are high.

Annex A - Regulatory Initiatives

AAFC's regulatory responsibilities include

  • The Canadian Agriculture Loans Act and Agricultural Marketing Programs Act grants Ministerial authority to provide various loan guarantee programs and advances to producers and farmers.
  • Similarly, the Farm Income Protection Act provides authority to facilitate business risk management programs (including income stabilization for farmers, disaster assistance and crop insurance).
  • The Canada Grain Act outlines the authorities of the Canadian Grain Commission (an AAFC Portfolio Partner), establishes regulations that govern quality standards for Canadian grain, and regulates handling grain to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets (see note in Tab 14).
  • The Agricultural Products Marketing Act allows the delegation of the federal authority to provincial commodity boards to regulate the marketing of a commodity destined for interprovincial or export trade to the same extent as it does for intra-provincial trade.
  • The Farm Products Agencies Act authorizes the establishment of agencies with powers relating to the marketing of a farm product destined for interprovincial or export trade (for example, Pork Proclamation).
  • The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency maintains the regulatory framework of laws, regulations, regulatory documents, licenses and authorizations to govern and ensure the integrity of pari-mutuel betting systems in Canada.

Canada Grain Act review - Tab 14

Purpose - Canada Grain Act

Budget 2019 included a commitment to review the Canada Grain Act and the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). The review is currently underway and is at an early stage.

Background - Canada Grain Act

The CGC is responsible for administering the provisions of the Canada Grain Act. The mandate of the CGC is to, in the interests of grain producers, establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain and regulate grain handling in Canada, and to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets.

The CGC is led by three Governor-in-Council appointed commissioners, including a Chief Commissioner. The CGC is headquartered in Winnipeg, and operates two regional offices and eight service centres. They also provide service at more than 30 terminal elevator service delivery points across Canada.

The CGC's operations cover four main areas:

  • Grain quality assurance: establishing grain grading standards; conducting inspections and issuing mandatory quality assurance documentation for bulk export shipments; regulating grain quality and safety; providing scientific and technical support; and managing a grain quality complaint resolution process.
  • Grain quantity assurance: overseeing the official weighing of export shipments of grain, and the issuance of quantity assurance documentation.
  • Grain quality research: conducting research to facilitate the effective marketing of Canadian grain in domestic and international markets, and to address emerging issues.
  • Producer protection: administering programs and safeguards to ensure grain producers are properly compensated for grain delivered to licensed grain companies, including the licensing and security program; allocation of available producer cars; and providing binding determination of grading disputes.

The CGC is financed primarily by industry service fees for grain export inspection and weighing, which account for over 90% of its annual operating budget of approximately $65 million. Annual government appropriations for the CGC are approximately $5.4 million.

Budget 2019 included a commitment to review the Canada Grain Act and CGC. This commitment is an extension of the work of the Targeted Regulatory Review of the Agri-Food and Aquaculture Sector, and reflects stakeholder input received during that process. The Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table also recommended Canada Grain Act modernization. The objective of the review is to identify what changes to the Canada Grain Act and CGC are needed to meet the needs of Canada's modern grain sector.

A major issue raised by some stakeholders has been the role of the CGC in performing mandatory inspection services on export shipments by vessel.

AAFC is leading the review with the support of the CGC. AAFC held preliminary discussions with some stakeholders at the Grains Value Chain Roundtable in the first half of 2019. Those discussions were intended to identify priority areas of interest in the review, with the understanding that more extensive stakeholder engagement would occur at a later date.

AAFC expects to conduct further stakeholder engagement in the first half of 2020. This will include face-to-face engagement with stakeholders, including producers and grain companies. The intention is to then develop legislative proposals after that phase.

Science and Innovation

Federal Activities in Agriculture and Agri-food Science and Innovation - Tab 15

Note: Some values have been updated for accuracy since these materials were presented to the Minister.

Issue - Federal Activities in Agriculture and Agri-food Science and Innovation

Supporting innovation through scientific research, policy and programs is central to supporting the sector to address challenges and realize opportunities, and achieving Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) mandate.

Background on AAFC science activities

Science and innovation drive productivity and competitiveness in the agriculture and agri-food sector. For over 130 years, AAFC's research has helped build a globally competitive agriculture industry in Canada. AAFC scientists develop crops and livestock that give higher yields, resist disease, and deliver more nutrition, as well as develop technologies and agricultural practices that are sustainable and beneficial to Canadian producers.

AAFC has 20 research and development centres across Canada. Nearly 2,200 employees work to support these initiatives.

AAFC is currently the largest player in Canadian agricultural research, with scientists collaborating with Canada's leading universities with agricultural disciplines, such as the Universities of Guelph, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Laval and McGill. AAFC's research networks also extend into the international scientific community accessing global science and technology and leveraging science capacity for greater impact. For example, the G20 Wheat Initiative supports the development of a global public-private research community sharing resources, capabilities, data and ideas to improve wheat productivity, quality and sustainable production around the world.

AAFC focuses largely on “foundational” research, which has wide public benefits. The private sector tends to focus on near-market activities with potential for more immediate commercial gain.

Key programs supporting innovation

Canadian Agricultural Partnership initiatives

Through successive federal-provincial-territorial agricultural frameworks, the Government of Canada has invested in initiatives that fund science and foster innovation. The total federal investment for innovation and science activities under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), is close to $690 million over five years. AgriInnovate and AgriScience programs make up a significant proportion of this support (see Tab 8).

While the majority of AAFC science and innovation programming falls under the Partnership, AAFC also delivers complementary programs outside of the framework that target specific objectives or recipients, such as the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program and the Agriculture Clean Technology Program (see Tabs 20 and 21). Both of these programs support research on, and enhancing awareness and accessibility of, agricultural technologies, beneficial management practices and other processes that can be adopted by farmers to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, AAFC's Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program funds national or sector-wide, industry-led projects that help the sector develop a new idea or market opportunity and respond to new or emerging issues (see Tab 25).

Other collaborative initiatives

Through AAFC's $25-million Living Laboratories Initiative, a new collaborative approach to agricultural innovation is shifting the way agri-environmental science research is conducted by bringing farmers, scientists and other partners together to co-develop, test and monitor new practices and technologies in a real-life context.

The Living Laboratories Initiative includes two components:

  • $15 million to fund collaborative federal research projects focused on priority areas affecting the agriculture sector, such as environmental issues; and
  • $10 million over five years (2018–2019 to 2022–2023) to support collaborative research projects with external partners.

Government of Canada initiatives

AAFC works collaboratively with other departments to promote greater innovation investment with industry (see Annex A for program details). For example, AAFC is contributing to the Innovation and Skills Plan through the Innovative Solutions Canada program ███████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ to support the scale up and growth of Canadian small businesses through direct funding to support early stage, pre-commercial research and development, late stage prototypes, and to accelerate commercialization.

In addition, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada delivers programs open to all sectors, including agri-food, such as the Strategic Innovation Fund, the Innovative Superclusters Initiative, and Innovative Solutions Canada.

Annex A – Summary of Government of Canada Innovation and Clean Technology Initiatives

Strategic Innovation Fund

Administered by Innovation, Science, Economic Development (ISED), the Strategic Innovation Fund is a $1.26-billion initiative (2017 to 2022) to attract and support new high-quality business investments in Canada.The focus is on large scale projects over $10 million. An additional $800 million was announced in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, and Budget 2019 committed $100 million over five years to support innovation in the food processing sector.

The Strategic Innovation Fund offers support in five streams:

  • Stream 1: R&D and commercialization
  • Stream 2: Firm expansion and growth
  • Stream 3: Investment attraction and re-investment
  • Stream 4: Collaborative technology development and demonstration
  • Stream 5: National ecosystem

Under Stream 4, a competition was launched in December 2018 for national initiatives that integrate emerging digital technologies and automation in the agriculture and agri-food sector. Applicants were encouraged to seek clear outcomes for the value chain that are grounded in data and new technology solutions which may include automation and robotics, precision agriculture platforms, data and digital solutions, sensors, interconnected software and hardware, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and/or blockchain.

Two successful applicants were announced in July 2019:

  • $49.5 million to the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network. The project, worth $108.5 million overall, will build on Canada's strengths in artificial intelligence, robotics and precision agriculture to develop exportable farming solutions. This will reduce reliance on temporary labour, increase global competitiveness and improve profitability for Canadian farmers.
  • $30 million to the Canadian Food Innovators Network. The network will bring together key players in food innovation, including research and development centres, small, medium and large companies, and academia to create a digital hub. This digital hub will include collaboration events and network-funded projects that will help to accelerate product development, innovation, and technology adoption in Canada's food and beverage processing sector.

Innovation Superclusters Initiative

The Innovation Superclusters Initiative is a funding initiative designed to help strengthen Canada's most promising clusters and accelerate economic growth in highly innovative industries, while positioning Canadian firms for global leadership. ISED is the lead department for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The Innovation Superclusters Initiative will invest $950 million by 2023 to accelerate the growth and development of business-led innovation superclusters in Canada.

Five Supercluster proposals were announced in February 2018:

  • SCALE.AI —the Artificial Intelligence Supply Chains Supercluster (Quebec-to-Windsor corridor) $230 million;
  • building an Advance Manufacturing Supercluster for Canada (Ontario) — $230 million;
  • Digital Technology Supercluster (B.C.) - $153 million;
  • Protein Industries Canada (Prairies) - $153 million; and
  • Ocean Supercluster (Atlantic, Northern Canada) — $153 million.

Based in the Prairie Provinces, the Protein Industries Canada Supercluster aims to capture value-added opportunities in agriculture, premium markets for sophisticated crop ingredients and products in foreign markets to become the world's leading source of high-quality, sustainable, plant proteins. This Supercluster will invest in seed genetics, novel process technologies and product development, agriculture-related artificial intelligence and machine learning, provide venture capital funding to grow small and medium-sized enterprises, and support plant-based protein companies to access new and expanding markets. The Protein Industries Canada Supercluster's first call for projects was launched in April 2019, and a second call opened and closed in September 2019. Support from the sector is expected to be strong, estimated at more than $300 million of industry matched funding for the Supercluster.

Innovative Solutions Canada

This $100-million initiative is a new hybrid research and procurement program that supports small and medium-sized enterprises, modelled on the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research program. The program is designed to support partnerships between government departments and agencies and Canadian innovators in development of early stage, pre-commercial innovations with the ultimate goal of promoting the growth of Canada's small businesses.

Innovative Solutions Canada officially launched in December 2017 with the participation of 20 departments and agencies.████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████

To date, AAFC has posted three challenges:

  • improved compostability of bioplastics. This is a joint challenge issued by AAFC and Natural Resources Canada, and is also part of Canada's larger commitment to solving the global ocean plastics problem. EcoEnviro Labs and Titan Clean Energy Projects Corp. were awarded with $150,000 each to develop a proof of concept;
  • efficient soil sampling techniques. Recipients were selected and the contracting process is underway;
  • scaling down precision agriculture. Troo Corp. and Expert Systems Inc. were awarded with $150,000 each to develop a proof of concept.

Agricultural Clean Technology Program

The Agricultural Clean Technology Program is part of the Government of Canada's suite of clean technology programs and initiatives. This $25-million, three-year investment is intended to help the agriculture sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions by targeting developments in bioproducts and precision agriculture. Bioproducts are renewable products from agricultural biomass, including residues and wastes. Precision agriculture is a farming practice that uses data gathering technologies to guide targeted farm management actions that improve sustainability, efficiency and productivity of agricultural operations.

Clean Growth Hub

The Clean Growth Hub is a whole-of-government focal point to help clean technology entrepreneurs and adopters navigate the federal ecosystem of support for clean technology. The Hub does not allocate funding, but serves as a clearinghouse for information on the clean technology programs offered by the 16 federal departments and agencies that form the Hub. The programs span all stages of development from research and development to clean technology adoption.

The Hub advances the Clean Technology and Innovation pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan.

Food Policy

Food Policy for Canada - Tab 16

Issue Food Policy for Canada

The Government of Canada launched the Food Policy for Canada in June 2019.

While the Government has policies, regulations and investments across a number of departments and agencies that directly or indirectly address food-related issues, the Food Policy aims to create a more coordinated and food systems-based approach to taking action on food-related opportunities and challenges.

Background Food Policy for Canada

Globally, there is a challenge to produce and distribute healthy and nutritious food in an environmentally sustainable manner. In Canada, despite efforts being undertaken by multiple stakeholders and levels of government, around one million households are not able to access healthy food, almost two in three adults are overweight or obese, and about one-third of food produced in Canada is wasted.

AAFC held consultations in 2017 with over 45,000 Canadians and stakeholders. These consultations collected wide ranging perspectives on what participants wanted in a Food Policy for Canada. In recent years, key stakeholders, including Food Secure Canada, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Conference Board of Canada, and the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute, have released their own food policies and discussion papers.

In late 2017, a coalition of over 50 stakeholders, including farmer and food industry organizations, food security organizations, health professionals, environmental groups, and philanthropic organizations, as well as academic experts, put forward a detailed joint proposal for a “National Food Policy Council”.

In December 2017, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food released their report “A Food Policy For Canada,” which tabled their perspectives and recommendations.

AAFC took these views and considerations into account as it developed the Food Policy. Budget 2019 announced the Food Policy for Canada along with $134.4 million in new funding, led by AAFC, that will be delivered by multiple departments and agencies including: Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency; and Employment and Social Development Canada.

The Food Policy establishes four areas for near-term action:

  • help Canadian communities access healthy food
  • make Canadian food the top choice at home and abroad
  • support food security in Northern and Indigenous communities
  • reduce food waste.

Considerations Food Policy for Canada

A Food Policy shifts beyond primary agriculture and food processing to directly consider the broader food system in collaboration with a broader set of stakeholders and government departments (on issues such as food security, healthy eating, poverty reduction).

Food Policy targets will align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to achieving zero hunger, good health and well-being, and responsible consumption and production.

Next steps Food Policy for Canada

Next steps in implementing the Food Policy include

  • The establishment of a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council to provide advice to the minister on addressing food system opportunities and challenges including representation from industry to health professionals, civil society and academia.
  • Federal Leadership in Food Waste Reduction, to support collaboration on reducing and preventing food waste among stakeholders, industry and government
  • Delivering the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, a five-year, $50 million initiative ending March 31, 2024 that supports community-led projects that improve access to safe, healthy and culturally diverse food.
  • Establish the Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign to better promote Canada's food system and its food, seafood, and agricultural products at home and abroad.

Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council

Purpose Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council

The establishment of a Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council was announced as part of the launch of the Food Policy for Canada on June 17, 2019.

Background Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council

Throughout the consultation period for the Food Policy for Canada, a common identified interest was the creation of a governance body to bring government, stakeholders and experts together to better understand diverse perspectives, work toward a common understanding of food issues, and build greater trust to facilitate collaborative action.

Advisory councils consisting of a range of food system actors from civil society to industry are a central component of food policies in jurisdictions around the world.

For example, at the federal level, France's food policy council, the Conseil National de l'Alimentation, is composed of 62 members representing consumer groups, civil society, producers, processors, distributors, food service industry, labour unions, and persons chosen for food-related expertise.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC), dated December 15, 2017, more than 50 stakeholders, including national and provincial industry associations, civil society organizations, and academia, called for the creation of a food policy advisory council.

On August 9, 2019, AAFC launched the call for applications for membership on the council. The Department received 126 eligible applications for membership on the council.

The goal of the council is to bring diverse perspectives together to work towards a common understanding of food system challenges, identify shared solutions, and facilitate collaborative action on longer-term systemic food issues.

The council would report to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and it is expected that the Minister would provide direction to the Council on specific areas of focus (such as school food, food waste reduction, UN Sustainable Development Goal targets and data gaps). It is also anticipated that the council would provide advice on specific food policy related issues as identified by council members themselves.

The council would include a diversity of members from the agriculture and food industry, health professionals, academia, non-profit organizations, and Indigenous organizations.

These have been assessed and are ready for review by the minister.

Food waste reduction initiatives

Purpose Food waste reduction initiatives

The Food Policy for Canada includes two initiatives to address food waste reduction. The Federal Leadership in Food Waste Reduction aims to position the Government of Canada as a leader in food waste reduction, while the Food Waste Reduction Challenge aims to accelerate innovative actions to reduce food waste, thereby reducing associated economic, environmental and social costs.

Background - Food waste reduction initiatives

Food loss and waste incurs economic costs in Canada. By weight, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) estimates that 31% of Canada's food supply is wasted. A 2019 study calculated that $49.5 billion of wasted food each year in Canada is avoidable. At the household level, approximately $10.37 billion worth of food, or $1,000 per household, is purchased but not consumed annually

Food waste also has environmental and social costs. It accounts for nearly 8% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, stemming largely from food waste decomposing in landfills. There is also a missed opportunity to connect edible food that would have been wasted with Canadians who do not have sufficient access to food.

Federal leadership in food waste reduction

Activities under this initiative are grouped as follows:

  • Fostering Engagement and Collaboration to Reduce Food Waste – fostering collaboration and national dialogue with all orders of government, industry, and key stakeholders, on preventing and reducing food waste. This could include a national food waste reduction forum.
  • Reducing Food Waste in Federal Activities – exploring innovative approaches to reducing food waste in government activities, including facilities, meetings, and events.
  • Reporting on Food Waste – facilitating the collection of Canadian data on food loss and waste, in order to establish a baseline, set targets, and measure progress.

Food Waste Reduction Challenge

The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is a new funding program under the Food Policy for Canada, representing a $20 million investment over five years.

Initial research and internal consultation has identified several potential areas where food loss and waste reduction challenges could be developed and launched over the next four years (2020 to 2024) including, but not limited to, food processing, grocery retail and food service.

This program will be delivered in the form of a challenge. Challenges are aimed at Canadians and global innovators and encourage them to generate innovative solutions to some of the biggest issues that face Canadians and their communities. These challenges reward the best ideas and focus on achieving stronger social, environmental, and economic outcomes for citizens. For example, Canada initiated the Smart Cities Challenge which aimed to help communities of all sizes to improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.

The federal government will be developing the Food Waste Reduction Challenge in collaboration with key organizations concerned with food waste over the next six months, with an anticipated launch in early 2020. Amounts of funding to be granted at each stage of the Challenge process are currently under review.

Considerations - Food Waste Reduction Challenge

The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is a new program currently under development, therefore funding has yet to be distributed. Funding for the first phase of the initial challenge is expected to go out during the 2020–2021 fiscal year.

External stakeholder consultation is ready to commence in order to seek feedback on the challenge definition. A survey has been designed to gather information consistently from a range of stakeholders. Additionally, a process of jury identification and selection is being developed with details to be confirmed over the coming months.

Local Food Infrastructure Fund

Purpose - Local Food Infrastructure Fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund aims to strengthen food systems and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food, primarily for the less privileged.

Background - Local Food Infrastructure Fund

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund is a five-year (2019 to 2024), $50-million initiative to support community-led projects that improve access to safe, healthy and culturally diverse food. Support will be available in the form of non-repayable contributions and/or grants.

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund consists of two streams:

  • The Infrastructure and Equipment Improvement Projects aim to enable small community-based organizations to improve their infrastructure and purchase equipment that is directly related to the accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and ideally local foods within their community. ████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████
  • The Projects to Strengthen Local Food Systems (not yet open for applications) target groups of community, municipal, private academic and other organizations that collectively have the mission to reduce food insecurity in a sustainable manner by strengthening or establishing a local food system. ██████████████████████████████████████████████████████

As of November 8, 2019, AAFC received nearly 500 applications for the Local Food Infrastructure Fund.

Program parameters

Stream 1

The first call for proposal under Stream 1 was launched on August 15, 2019 and was open until November 8, 2019.

Eligible applicants are not-for-profits such as:

  • community or charitable organizations
  • Indigenous groups
  • municipal and regional governments in areas where there are no not-for-profit organizations that provide food services

Eligible organizations in the first intake for Stream 1 may receive up to $25,000 of non-repayable funding.

Eligible projects

The types of activities that could be funded are as follows:

  • capital assets and equipment for the collective production of food such as community kitchens, community gardens, and urban farms
  • equipment needed for the preparation, refrigeration, distribution and storage of food
  • vehicles and transport equipment such as refrigerated trucks and trailers
  • technology systems including digital, production and/or distribution platforms
  • energy systems such as greenhouses and solar panels
  • water infrastructure including irrigation systems and rainwater capture.
Stream 2

The department held an external consultation over the summer that offered an opportunity for stakeholders to provide their input into the parameters of the Fund concerning future calls for applications. The perspectives provided are being examined and results of the consultation will guide the design of Stream 2.

As this stream will focus on larger projects, it is expected that eligible applicants may receive up to $250,000 in non-repayable financial assistance for capital and other costs.

Buy Canadian promotion campaign

Purpose - Buy Canadian promotion campaign

Budget 2019 committed an investment of $25 million over five years (2019–2020 to 2023–2024) for AAFC to establish a Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign to better promote Canada's food system and its food, seafood, and agricultural products at home and abroad.

Background - Buy Canadian promotion campaign

Surveys have found that product origin is a key consideration for consumers.
The Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign will

  • highlight Canada's food sector and the advantages of its products
  • increase confidence by providing transparency on where and how food is made
  • showcase federal and sector investments to continuously improve production practices and Canada's food system
  • gain recognition for the work of Canadian producers and build public trust.

A Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign will be a national approach led by AAFC, in collaboration with federal partners as well as Crown Corporations (such as Farm Credit Canada and Destination Canada), provinces, territories and industry. The campaign will include the following components:

  • refreshing the Canadian Food and Agriculture Sector Brand (Canada Brand) imagery, messaging and promotional products
  • working with industry and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to make it easier for Canadians to accurately identify Canadian food products when shopping (Product of Canada guidelines)
  • working with industry and consumers to consider where assurance systems and other efforts can help support the brand.
  • developing and implementing a marketing strategy

Considerations - Buy Canadian promotion campaign

Industry and provincial partners will be consulted on plans related to the refresh of Canada Brand to ensure that enhancements are meeting the needs of the sector.

AAFC will also explore partnership opportunities with provinces and industry to help amplify positive outcomes of the campaign.

Supply Management

Support for dairy producers - Tab 17

Note: Some values have been updated for accuracy since these materials were presented to the Minister.

Purpose - Support for dairy producers

Two programs are providing support to dairy producers.

The Dairy Farm Investment Program (DFIP) is a five-year (2017 to 2022), $250-million program to help Canadian milk producers improve productivity through upgrades to their equipment.

It is intended to assist dairy producers to adapt to the anticipated impacts of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The Dairy Direct Payment Program is a $1.75-billion program over eight years for dairy producers to help the sector adapt to market changes resulting from the implementation of CETA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Background - Support for dairy producers

Dairy Farm Investment Program

The Dairy Farm Investment Program is one of two investment programs launched on August 1, 2017 to help the dairy industry adjust to CETA. The other program is the Dairy Processing Investment Fund.

DFIP was developed based on feedback from a range of dairy stakeholders and Canadians. DFIP is helping farmers invest in productivity-enhancing technologies such as robotic milkers, automated feeding systems and better herd management tools. Eligible applicants must be Canadian licensed cow's milk producers and be registered with a provincial milk marketing board.

DFIP is divided into two phases: Phase 1 ran from 2017–2018 to 2019–2020; Phase 2 will run from 2020–2021 to 2021–2022.

  • Phase 1
    • The intake process for Phase 1 closed on August 29, 2017 and followed a “first-come, first-served basis” intake principle. Over 2,500 applications were received, and as of August 9, 2019, 1,903 projects had been approved for $129,000,000.
    • Projects were divided into two types: small investments of up to $60,000; and large investments up to $250,000.
    • All investments were cost-shared at a ratio of 50:50. In addition, funding was managed to try and ensure that investments are supported in proportion to provincial shares of the total milk quota.
  • Phase 2:
    • Based on lessons learned from Phase 1, a number of changes were implemented for Phase 2, including:
      • Priority given to producers who did not receive funding from Phase 1;
      • A shift from small and large projects to a new single funding cap of $100,000 for all projects; and
      • A two-step application process which included an expression of interest, followed by a random selection process to submit a full application. This ensured fairness and reduced the administrative burden for farmers.
    • The application process for Phase 2 of the program recently finished and will provide funding assistance from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2022. Over 3,000 applications were received, and as of September 6, 2019, the Program has approved 1,336 projects for $85,415,592.
Dairy Direct Payment Program

On August 16, 2019, Minister Bibeau announced the Dairy Direct Payment Program, of $1.75 billion. Of this amount, $345 million will be paid in the first year, in the form of direct payments and will benefit all cow's milk producers in proportion to their quota. For example, the owner of a farm with 80 dairy cows will be awarded compensation in the form of a direct payment of $28,000.

Payments for 2019–2020 are anticipated to start in the fall of 2019. The department has a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Dairy Commission so that payments can be administered by the commission on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Dairy Processing Investment Fund - Tab 18

Purpose - Dairy Processing Investment Fund

The Dairy Processing Investment Fund is a four year (2017 to 2021), $100-million program with the objective of increasing the efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of Canadian dairy agri-food processors and mitigating the impacts of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Background - Dairy Processing Investment Fund

The Dairy Processing Investment Fund is one of two investment programs launched on August 1, 2017 to help the dairy industry adjust to CETA. The other program is the Dairy Farm Investment Program.

The Dairy Processing Investment Fund supports two broad activities:

  • Capital investment in equipment and infrastructure to improve manufacturing technologies and processes;
  • Access to expertise to engage technical, managerial, and business expertise to, for example, help improve product quality or resolve a production issue.

Dairy Processing Investment Fund targets funding toward those investments that best achieve the goals of improving processor productivity and competitiveness.

Eligible applicants/recipients are

  • for-profit organizations, including co-operatives, which are small and medium-sized cheese makers
  • for-profit organizations, including large cheese makers and all other organizations involved in processing dairy products in Canada whose projects have benefits that accrue broadly, namely
    • the application of technologies to make use of surplus skim milk (for example, a project to purchase and install new milk drying equipment) or
    • increasing the facility's capacity to use milk or milk components by 1.6% (rate established based on the expected impact from CETA) above the market forecast growth, through expansion or new product development; and
  • not-for-profit organizations involved in or representing the dairy processing sector in Canada.

The Dairy Processing Investment Fund will provide

  • $10 million toward investments in equipment and infrastructure;
  • $250,000 to access external expertise (for example, to engage a private sector expert to help improve product quality or resolve a production issue).

All projects are cost shared with recipients and the ratio is based on the project type and the size of the investment.

As of fall 2019, the DPIF has received 124 full applications, with 79 projects approved totaling $67 million.

Demand for non-repayable contribution funds in support of capital investments exceeds the available budget.

Food Policy

Agriculture and the environment - Tab 19

Purpose - Agriculture and the environment

Agricultural activity leads to environmental impacts on air, soil, water, and biodiversity, which require mitigation. Years of sustained efforts have led to progress in some areas, but Canada still faces a number of agri-environmental issues (such as water quality and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions). There is also an increased interest in how food is produced, with producers increasingly needing to demonstrate strong environmental performance to maintain public trust and meet consumer demands.

Background - Agriculture and the environment

The agriculture sector is responsible for 19% of total national emissions. Overall, agri-environmental sustainability has improved in some areas. For example, the intensity of GHG emissions (emissions per dollar of agricultural gross domestic product) has declined by 47% over the last twenty years. This has been achieved in part by increasing the amount of carbon sequestered in agricultural soils which removes carbon from the atmosphere. Canada is among better performing countries worldwide, notably in terms of its carbon footprint for beef and milk production, and its net carbon soil sink. However, net agricultural GHG emissions are not decreasing. As pressure intensifies to meet national reduction commitments, continued efforts will be required.

There are also regional-specific issues to work on, such as phosphorus in Lakes Erie and Winnipeg, pesticide management in Prince Edward Island (fish kills by run-off), and declining bird populations in agricultural landscapes). Climate change will exacerbate these agri-environmental issues.

Considerations - Agriculture and the environment

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership, between federal, and provincial and territorial governments, is funding on-farm programs to help producers take action to address environmental and climate change-related issues. The Government has also invested in science to develop innovative solutions that will help the sector grow sustainably. Various interdepartmental and intergovernmental initiatives are underway to address regionally-specific agri-environmental challenges. These initiatives include implementation of the Lake Erie Action Plan; regulatory approaches to farm-related environmental damage (fish kills) in Prince Edward Island; and development of a species at risk action plan for the agriculture sector.

Canadian farmers generally oppose carbon pollution pricing, out of concern about competitiveness and higher input prices, as the increased costs they face cannot be easily passed along the value chain. That being said, GHG emissions from crop production and livestock are not included in carbon pollution pricing systems. The federal carbon pollution pricing system also includes relief provisions for gasoline and diesel fuel used by farmers for agricultural activities, as well as for natural gas and propane used for greenhouses. While relieved or exempt from most direct costs of pollution pricing, producers may still face higher costs for road and rail transportation, heating barns, and drying crops, and for inputs such as machinery.

AAFC's work to date indicates that carbon pollution pricing is expected to have a modest impact on most farmers' net operating expenses and incomes.

The potential for additional carbon sequestration in agricultural soils is relatively limited, but further gains could be made through a variety of “nature-based solutions” (such as cover crops, agroforestry, riparian buffers, grassland management). Further reductions could also be realized from broader adoption of precision nutrient management technologies (such as smart fertilizers and variable rate application) and modified livestock feeding strategies (such as feed additives and methane inhibitors). However, given current technologies and production types, large scale emission reductions would be very challenging unless there were radical shifts in production, which is inconsistent with rising global food demand.

Demand for assurance that food is produced in a sustainable fashion is increasing, both domestically and internationally. Industry is leading efforts on sustainability assurance initiatives, for example through the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops, and the Dairy Farmers of Canada (proAction Initiative). AAFC supports these efforts with technical and scientific data and information, as well as financially through programs such as AgriAssurance.

Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program - Tab 20

Purpose - Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (the Program) is a five-year (2016 to 2021) $27-million program that supports projects that will create technologies, practices and processes that can be adopted by farmers to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Background - Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program

The first iteration of the program was launched in September 2010 as part of Canada's commitment to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. Canada is one of the founding members of the Alliance, which has 51 member countries devoted to collaboration in agricultural research on greenhouse gas mitigation and beneficial management practices for farmers.

There are four priority areas that the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program supports:

  • livestock systems: focus on activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may include manure management, as well as grazing and feeding strategies.
  • cropping systems: focus on developing knowledge and technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maximizing carbon sequestration from forage, pasture and rangeland.
  • agricultural water use efficiency: focus on quantifying greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing carbon sequestration through improved irrigation and drainage practice.
  • agroforestry: develop and enhance research networks and demonstrations across Canada, focusing on carbon sequestration and sustainable bio-energy production.

Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations, co-operatives, academic institutions, other levels of government (provincial/territorial/municipal) and Indigenous organizations.

The program provides non-repayable contributions of up to a maximum of $2 million per project. Total government funding (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments or their agencies) will normally not exceed 85% of eligible project costs.

As of fall 2019, the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program has approved 20 projects for a commitment of $25 million. The previous iteration of the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program approved 18 projects for a total commitment of $20.8 million and resulted in the development of 35 new beneficial management practices. The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program is no longer accepting applications.

Agricultural Clean Technology Program - Tab 21

Purpose - Agricultural Clean Technology Program

The Agricultural Clean Technology Program (the Program) supports investments made to clean technologies, specifically in precision agriculture and agriculture-based bioproducts.

Background - Agricultural Clean Technology Program

Budget 2017 committed $200 million to support research, development and demonstration, and adoption of clean technologies in Canada's natural resources sectors. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was provided $25 million to develop the three year Agricultural Clean Technology Program (2018-19 to 2020-21).

The Program supports activities across the innovation continuum, ranging from research and development, technology and knowledge transfer and demonstration, to commercialization and adoption. These activities are expected to generate positive impacts on the environment, while reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production.

Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2020, or until all funding has been fully committed.

Eligible applicants/recipients are provincial and territorial governments, and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations incorporated in Canada. The maximum government contribution per project is 50%, up to $5 million, of the total eligible project costs.

Smaller projects benefiting the Territories, Northern communities, Indigenous peoples or other underrepresented groups, may receive 75% of the eligible costs. Priority is given to projects submitted by for-profit and not-for-profit applicants with a 10% cash contribution from the provincial or territorial government.

Examples of activities that may be eligible for funding include, but are not limited to

  • basic and applied research, including public-private collaboration;
  • developing, piloting, evaluating, commercializing clean technologies and/or accelerating adoption of on-farm clean technologies;
  • demonstration, knowledge and technology translation/transfer activities; and,
  • sectoral awareness and communication-building activities that promote clean technologies.

As of Fall 2019, the Program has approved three projects. For example, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will make efficiency enhancements to a hemp decortication facility in the province and conduct life cycle assessments of hemp to determine uses in bioproducts.

Key Federal Partners

Collaboration with other government departments and agencies - Tab 22

Purpose - Collaboration with other government departments and agencies

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) works closely with a number of federal departments and agencies in order to deliver on a wide array of activities, including market access, international trade, food health and safety, environmental sustainability and climate change resilience, innovation and science, and transportation. AAFC also leads the recently launched Food Policy for Canada, a whole-of-Government approach that aims to create a more coordinated and food systems-based approach to take action on social, health, environmental and economic food-related opportunities and challenges.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

AAFC and CFIA work together to advance the export growth agenda by increasing market access for Canadian agriculture and agri-food products abroad. Efforts are directed to gaining new market access, as well as maintaining, enhancing and reopening markets according to agreed-upon priorities. CFIA is the sole regulatory authority in Canada for food safety, animal and plant health that can negotiate export conditions and certify agriculture and agri-food commodities for export.

To support this collaborative work, the joint AAFC-CFIA International Affairs Branch was created in 2018 to recognize the complementary roles of AAFC and CFIA in advancing international trade. CFIA's specialized food safety, and plant and animal health knowledge and expertise contribute to the sector's ability to build robust assurance systems that are cornerstones of the agriculture and agri-food sector and aid in maintaining public trust. AAFC collaborates with CFIA to recognize industry-led food safety standards, and develop biosecurity and traceability tools.

Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

AAFC and GAC have a longstanding partnership in advancing Canada's economic interests in foreign markets with respect to agriculture and food products.

AAFC's funded Trade Commissioner positions are embedded within GAC's Trade Commissioner Service program abroad that support a portfolio of economic sectors, including agriculture. Similarly, CFIA has several positions abroad that provide a full range of CFIA programs in animal and plant health as well as food safety. This joint platform strengthens and augments Canada's success in international commerce for agriculture and food products.

Through the GAC-led Export Diversification Strategy launched in 2018, AAFC and GAC ensure that Canadian agricultural and agri-food trade interests are advanced by encouraging the collaboration between government and industry to support export success, promoting Canadian products abroad, and by ensuring exporters have the tools and resources they need to achieve growth potential.

Health Canada

AAFC works closely with Health Canada to ensure Food Policy initiatives complement the Healthy Eating Strategy led by Health Canada, and to explore broader policy coherence around food, agriculture and health. The Healthy Eating Strategy announced in October 2016 aims to improve the food environment to help Canadians make informed food choices for health. This strategy includes launching a new Canada's Food Guide and mandatory front-of-package labelling of food products high in sodium, sugars and/or saturated fats, among other initiatives. At this time, the proposed mandatory front-of-package labelling has not been finalized.

The Cannabis Act (the Act) provides a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis within Canada. This Act came into force on October 17, 2018. While cannabis is considered an agricultural product, under the Act, the responsibility for regulating the production of cannabis falls under the Minister of Health.

Health Canada and other health portfolio departments work with CFIA and AAFC to address antimicrobial resistance affecting the population and the food chain. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when infectious bacteria (microbes) are exposed to antimicrobials (i.e. antibiotics) and they evolve in ways that reduce or eliminate the ability of the medicine to treat infections. The Pan-Canadian Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance, led by the Public Health Agency of Canada with support from Health Canada, CFIA, Canadian Institutes on Health Research, and AAFC, is scheduled to be released in early 2020.

Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)

The registration and regulation of pesticides in Canada falls under the responsibility of Health Canada's PMRA via the authority of the Pest Control Products Act. Through the PMRA, Health Canada works closely with growers of food and non-food crops as well as other commercial users of pesticides, to help meet their needs and priorities for pest management. PMRA administers a number of programs, including the Grower Requested Own Use Program, Sustainable Pest Management Program and the Minor Use Program.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) / Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

AAFC works closely with both ESDC and IRCC particularly related to access to labour, most recently to support the Primary Agriculture Review for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which included cross-country consultations, a labour market information study and a housing study.
Further, through providing policy advice, data and analysis to IRCC, AAFC supported the development of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, launched in January 2019, as well as the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot launched in July 2019.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

AAFC collaborates with ECCC to offer science-based expertise to ensure that the realities of agriculture production and processing are considered when developing environmental policies and programs. For example, ECCC is the federal lead department for international negotiations on climate change, and AAFC provides input to their engagement.

Further, AAFC works with ECCC to reflect the agricultural perspective in the federal carbon pricing approach, including the output-based pricing system and offsets, and other measures under the Pan Canadian Framework.

AAFC has engaged with ECCC throughout all elements of consultations and development of the Clean Fuel Standard, given the role that agricultural producers and biomass plays in the development of biofuels. (such as corn-based ethanol and canola-based biodiesel).

Additionally, ECCC is mandated to minimize threats to the environment from pollution and to conserve and restore Canada's natural environment. It also has legislative and regulatory triggers, such as the Species at Risk Act and Canada Water Act, used to implement programming that promotes and conserves water, soil, air and biodiversity, including on agricultural lands. For example, AAFC is working with ECCC, in collaboration with provinces and territories, and other partners, to develop an Action Plan for Species at Risk with the agriculture sector.

ECCC and AAFC also collaborate on reducing food loss and waste through initiatives under the Food Policy.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

AAFC actively engages with officials at ISED, and other departments and agencies, on a range of horizontal initiatives to re-tool government innovation programming, review federal science and innovation investments, and develop whole-of-government strategies. Innovation Canada, housed within ISED, is leading the delivery of several cross-cutting programs that are open to all sectors, including agri-food. These include the Strategic Innovation Fund, the Innovative Superclusters Initiative, and Innovative Solutions Canada. Also within the ISED portfolio are Canada's regional development agencies including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Western Economic Diversification, both leading growth strategies for their regions.

AAFC also worked closely with ISED on the Economic Strategy Tables established to support innovation in potential high-growth sectors, including the agri-food sector. The Agri-Food table released its final report in September 2018 with recommendations to enable the sector to reach ambitious growth targets.

Transport Canada

Efforts to improve efficiency, remove bottlenecks and increase transportation system capacity help Canadian farmers get their products to market. AAFC works with Transport Canada on opportunities for investment in trade and transportation infrastructure projects to benefit the agricultural sector. AAFC specifically worked with Transport Canada on Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. The Act included measures to advance a long-term agenda for a more transparent, fair and efficient rail system in Canada.

Infrastructure Canada

Infrastructure Canada is the federal lead for the Rural Economic Development Strategy, for which AAFC is a key partner. Budget 2019 proposed a new, coordinated plan that would deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in new investments in rural broadband over the next 10 years. Budget 2019 also proposed to invest $1.7 billion over the next 13 years in the Universal Broadband Fund to establish a new national high-speed internet program. These efforts are of importance to the agriculture sector, where new technologies rely on broadband.

Canada Border Services Agency

Budget 2019 provided the Canada Border Services Agency with $31 million over the next five years to increase the number of detector dogs deployed across the country. This will help protect Canada's hog farmers and meat processors from the serious economic threat posed by African Swine Fever.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

AAFC and DFO work together through the seafood value chain roundtable on initiatives that align with AAFC's mandate on fish and seafood, specifically, providing market development funding and services to Canada' s seafood processing industry, as well as providing non-regulatory, financial, technical and program assistance for the development and implementation of traceability systems.

Other Programs

Agricultural Marketing Programs Act - Tab 23

Purpose - Agricultural Marketing Programs Act

The Agricultural Marketing Programs Act provides statutory authority for two federal-only loan and price guarantee programs, the Advance Payments Program and the Price Pooling Program.

Background - Agricultural Marketing Programs Act

The programs provided for under the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act aim to help Canadian farmers with the marketing of their agricultural products.

Advance Payments Program

The Advance Payments Program allows Canadian farmers to obtain low interest cash advances on the expected value of their commodities. This cash flow helps provide marketing flexibility so producers can market their products at the best time and at the best price. Farmers can obtain an advance through 35 third-party Advance Payments Program administrators (mostly industry associations) across Canada. On average, approximately $2.2 billion in advances are issued to 21,300 producers per program year.

Farmers can obtain cash advances of 50% of the expected market value of eligible agricultural products they will produce or already have in storage. The maximum advance is $1 million per program year, with the Government of Canada paying the interest on the first $100,000. For 2019 cash advances on canola only, the interest-free portion has been increased to $500,000 to help farmers impacted by reduced marketing opportunities on Canadian canola. The $1-million maximum advance amount, as well as the increase to the interest free portion of cash advances on canola, was brought into force in June 2019, through amendments to the Agricultural Marketing Programs Regulations.

Repayment is required as farmers sell their products, with 18 months for full repayment for advances on most agricultural products (24 months for cattle and bison).

A “stay of default” on Advance Payments Program repayments was announced on August 15, 2019 for outstanding 2018 advances on grain, oilseed and pulse crops. This effectively provides producers more time for repayment of advances. In this case, the Stay will provide crop producers with an additional six months to repay their 2018 advances.

Price Pooling Program

The Price Pooling Program facilitates the cooperative marketing of agricultural products by guaranteeing the price of products sold through marketing agencies. If the average price received by the marketing agency for the sale of products delivered to the pool falls below the guaranteed price, a payment is triggered and the Government of Canada makes up the difference. This guarantee allows marketing agencies to arrange financing and provide payments to producers upon delivery of products to the marketing pool.

Under the Price Pooling Program, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada enters into an agreement with a marketing agency (such as associations of producers) for the marketing of agricultural products under a cooperative plan. The price guarantee is set at a percentage of the expected average wholesale price of the product.

Once all of the agricultural product is sold, the actual average wholesale price received is compared to the guarantee value. If the received value is less than the guarantee value, the program provides a payment for the shortfall. If the received value is greater, the surplus is retained by the pool for future use or is distributed by the marketing agency to the producers participating in the pool. As the program is delivered through marketing agencies, a producer can only receive an initial payment through a marketing agency and not from the Government directly.

The Price Pooling Program is designed to only trigger government payments in the case of severe price declines (35% relative to the average wholesale price). As such, the Price Pooling Program has not triggered a government payment since 1997.

Under the former Canadian Wheat Board, producers had the benefits of a price guarantee and an initial payment for commodities delivered to the Board in western Canada. The Price Pooling Program was developed to provide the same benefits to grains producers outside the jurisdiction of the Canadian Wheat Board. Therefore, the clients for this program mainly targeted the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board (now called Grain Farmers of Ontario) and the Fédération des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Québec (now called Producteurs de grains du Québec).

Two cooperative marketing agencies (Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Alberta Bean Division of Viterra Inc.) participated in the program for 2018, with a total guarantee valued at just over $43 million. The majority of remaining cooperative marketing agencies, including the Producteurs de grains du Québec, are now using the Advance Payments Program instead of the Price Pooling Program to better meet the demands of their producers and benefit from the interest free component.

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act - Tab 24

Purpose - The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act provides authority for a financial loan guarantee program.

Background - The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program (the Program) is designed to increase the availability of credit for the establishment, improvement and development of farms. Agricultural co-operatives are also eligible for loans under the Program to process, distribute, or market the products of farming.

The Program is delivered by eligible lending institutions (e.g., chartered banks, credit unions, agricultural co-operatives). The lender pays a registration fee of 0.85% of the amount of the loan to the Receiver General for Canada. The government guarantee covers up to 95% of any net loss incurred on eligible loans registered under the program.

The overall loan limit for each applicant is $500,000, of which up to $500,000 is available for real property and up to $350,000 for other eligible purposes (for example,, to purchase equipment, breeding livestock, etc.). Agricultural co-operatives are eligible for $3 million under the program, with approval of the Minister.

Beginning farmers are eligible for loans of 90% of the value of the asset purchased, while existing farmers or farm products marketing co-operatives are eligible for 80% of this value.

The interest rate is capped at the lender's prime rate plus one percent (variable rate) or the lender's comparable residential mortgage rate plus one per cent (fixed rate). Repayment terms are 15 years for land and 10 years for all other loan purposes. The terms for marketing co-operatives are 20 years for land and buildings and 10 years for all other purposes.

Approximately 1,290 loans totalling approximately $94 million are registered under the program each year.

Considerations - The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) remains the main federal lender in agriculture. FCC provides specialized and personalized financial services to farming operations, including family farms. Although once exclusively a farm lender, FCC now provides funding to enterprises that are closely related or dependent on farming.

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program provides farmers with the option of conducting business with a local registered financial institution (such as a bank or credit union) of their choice.

Uptake of the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program has been lower than what was expected as a result of the recent economic environment for agriculture and overall monetary policy. Interest rates have been relatively low and commodity prices and farm profitability have been relatively high since the most recent iteration of the Program was implemented in 2009. These economic conditions have made it easier for farmers to obtain loans from financial institutions without the Program's guarantee. Although current uptake has been low, historical data shows that uptake increases significantly as a function of increasing interest rates.

The Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program is well positioned to provide support to groups that are underrepresented in the sector, such as youth, women, and Indigenous Peoples. For instance, the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program provided a $3-million dollar guarantee with a lender to develop an Indigenous-based community cooperative greenhouse operation.

Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program - Tab 25

Purpose - Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program

The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program provides non-repayable contributions for industry-led projects, with the objective of helping the sector seize opportunities, respond to emerging issues, and pilot solutions to adapt and remain competitive.

Background - Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program

The $10 million per year program provides funding for projects that are national or sectoral in scope and support industry to develop a new idea, product, niche, or market opportunity; address issues that were unknown or not a concern before; investigate and test new ways of dealing with sector issues. In particular, the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program focuses on the following priority areas:

  • adaptation to new technology;
  • environmental sustainability;
  • strategic planning and capacity building; and
  • emerging issues.

The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program is open to not-for-profit organizations and associations, cooperatives, marketing boards and Indigenous organizations. Applicants may apply for funding for up to 50% of total eligible costs, to a maximum of $1 million per project. Total Canadian Government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments or their agencies) funding will not normally exceed 85% of eligible project costs.

Funding will not normally exceed $5 million, per applicant, over five years. Funding is provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC)on going annual budget (A base).

Applications are being taken on a continuous basis from the launch of the program until funding has been fully committed or otherwise announced by the program.

The program was launched in February 2019 and has received 32 pre-screening summaries to date, and seven full proposals. To date, two projects have been approved, for a total commitment of $2.8 million.


Farm Debt Mediation Service - Tab 26

Purpose - Farm Debt Mediation Service

The Farm Debt Mediation Service (the Service) provides free and confidential services to farmers who are having difficulties meeting their financial obligations. It helps bring producers and their creditor(s) together with a mediator in a neutral forum, in an effort to reach a mutually-acceptable solution related to farm debt and financial obligations.

Background - Farm Debt Mediation Service

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada delivers the Service under the Authority of the Farm Debt Mediation Act.

Once AAFC confirms that an applicant is eligible for the Service, a qualified financial consultant is assigned to work with the applicant throughout the mediation process. This consultant assists the applicant in developing a financial recovery plan. Once the recovery plan is developed, a mediation meeting is arranged for the producer and creditor to come to a mutually-acceptable solution.

The mediator has no decision making-power and only assists participants in reaching a mutually-acceptable settlement. When/if the parties agree upon a solution, the mediator will draft an agreement, which the parties sign.

The Service is private and confidential and has proven to be an effective and economical alternative to court. The majority of cases that have gone through the mediation process have resulted in a signed agreement between farmer and creditor(s).

To access the Farm Debt Mediation Service, applicants must farm commercially and have stopped or no longer be able to make payments on time; or if their farm  as sold, the value of the property would not be sufficient to cover the costs of their debt.

In recent years the number of applicants has remained relatively constant at around 300 per year.

International Collaboration Program - Tab 27

Purpose - International Collaboration Program

The International Collaboration Program supports a range of international memberships and projects aimed at advancing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) priorities.

Background - International Collaboration Program

The International Collaboration Program (the Program) is a small but important internal program that provides the Department with the opportunity to influence policy decisions and advance Canada's priorities in international fora, and to enhance international cooperation. The Program supports projects that

  • address impediments to international trade;
  • advance the Canadian agriculture sector's ability to compete internationally; and,
  • maximize the economic benefit for Canada's agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sectors.

The Program includes two types of international grant payments. The first are ongoing payments to support Canada's membership in key agricultural international organizations/treaties (see complete list in Annex A). The second are targeted payments to advance specific international priorities or projects (see Annex A for examples of targeted payments).

For example, a targeted payment of $325,000 was made for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Joint Meeting for Pesticide Residues. This meeting helped advance Canada's science-based trade policy agenda and resulted in the evaluation of 19 pesticides for new uses and the submission of 135 maximum residue limits for adoption at the Codex Committee of Pesticide Residues. These international standards help facilitate the global trade for agriculture products, particularly for field crops, and represent an important trade priority for AAFC.

The Program has an annual budget of approximately $1.2 million per year, which can increase on an ad hoc basis when additional funding is available in response to greater demand to advance key international priorities.

Annex A - International Collaboration Program

Ongoing membership payments
  • The International Grains Council;
  • The Centre for Agriculture Bioscience International;
  • The Food and Agriculture Organization International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture;
  • Food and Agriculture Organization Agriculture Market Information System;
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Cooperative Research Program and,
  • The G20 Wheat Initiative.
Additional examples of targeted payments
  • Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture – Professional Surveillance Training for African Swine Fever in the Caribbean;
  • International Grains Council - Precision Biotechnology Workshop;
  • Food and Agriculture Organization – Sustainability Metrics for the Canadian Livestock Industry through the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership;
  • Support for the International Conference of Agricultural Economists (July 28 to August 2, 2018);
  • Canada's contribution to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility;
  • A voluntary contribution to the Food and Agriculture Organization /World Health Organization Codex Alimentarius Trust Fund; and,
  • Contributions to the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring to help maintain and improve operations of crop monitoring, and to support activities of the Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring.

Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative - Tab 28

Purpose - Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative

The Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (IAFSI) aims to increase economic development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples through their participation in agriculture.

Background - Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative

The IAFSI is a five-year (2018-19 to 2022-23), $8.5 million initiative that supports indigenous communities and entrepreneurs build their capacity to participate in Agriculture.

The IAFSI is implemented with support from Indigenous Services Canada with a $6 million contribution through the Government of Canada's Strategic Partnership Initiative, and $2.5 `million from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

The maximum AAFC contribution is $500,000 per project, per year or a maximum of $2.5 million over five years. AAFC may contribute a maximum of 90% of the project costs, with a minimum 10% contribution (Cash and/or In-Kind) from the applicant. Eligible applicants/recipients include

  • Indigenous communities and governments;
  • Indigenous for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, associations, cooperatives and institutions; and
  • Indigenous businesses, partnerships and joint ventures.

Projects must clearly generate an economic development opportunity for Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada, as well as benefit the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. Examples of projects include

  • Helping to determine the means in which an innovative and sustainable approach to agricultural production can occur within an Indigenous community.
  • Supporting the plan and design of an agricultural operation to market and sell agriculture products, generating revenues to be reinvested within the community.
  • Providing skills training that will help an Indigenous community or organization establish or scale up an agriculture operation with the intent to create sustainable employment for Indigenous People.

Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2022, or until all funding has been fully committed.

As of Fall 2019, the IAFSI has approved two projects. The first is led by an Indigenous community who developed a business plan to farm 2,000 acres of land. The second is led by an Indigenous organization who are developing an advisory group consisting of Elders, Knowledge Keepers and technical experts to deliver workshops on growing traditional foods.


Youth Employment and Skills Program - Tab 29

Purpose - Youth Employment and Skills Program

The Youth Employment and Skills Program helps organizations who can offer projects that will give employees agriculture career-related work experiences in Canada and/or skills acquisition through mentoring and coaching such as for-profit and non-profit agribusinesses, farms, universities, municipal and provincial governments, etc.

Background - Youth Employment and Skills Program

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is one of 11 federal departments participating in the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. At AAFC, the Youth Employment and Skills Program, which was launched on June 3, 2019, will contribute $3.2 million in 2019 to 2020 to internships that employ youth and youth facing barriers to fully participate in the workforce (such as physical or mental disabilities, living in remote or rural locations with limited opportunities). The Youth Employment and Skills Program has various funding sources including: Budget 2019, a transfer from Employment and Social Development Canada, and ongoing program funding.

Under the Youth Employment and Skills Program, approved projects are eligible to receive 50% of total eligible costs, a maximum of $14,000. The program will help create approximately 185 agricultural internships for youth entering the workforce. The majority of organizations to date are for-profit small agribusinesses, as well as producer associations.

As of 2019-20, the Youth Employment and Skills Program replaces the Career Focus Program  and the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative, which formerly were agricultural internship programs supported by the Government's Youth Employment Strategy.

For example, the Career Focus Program supported 49 internships in 2017-2018. The Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative supported a further 244 internships in 2017-18.

The Youth Employment and Skills Program allocates its budget on a regional basis (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies and Northwest), in order to ensure an equitable distribution of funding nationally.

Considerations - Youth Employment and Skills Program

For 2019-20 the Youth Employment and Skills Program has authority for the same funding as the former Career Focus Program and Agricultural Green Jobs Initiative ($3.2 million). However, without additional incremental funding, after 2019-20 the Youth Employment and Skills Program will return to base funding of $1.1 million per year.

Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:

Date modified: