ARCHIVED - Key changes proposed for the Canada Grain Act

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Enhance producer protection

  1. Extend producer access to Canadian Grain Commission binding determination of grade and dockage (this right is known as “Subject to inspector’s grade and dockage”) on deliveries to licensed process elevators, grain dealers, and container loading facilities.
    • Producers have the right to ask the Canadian Grain Commission for binding determination on grade and dockage when the producer or the person delivering the grain disagrees with the grade or dockage assigned to a grain delivery.
    • The producer is paid according to the Canadian Grain Commission’s determination.
    • Currently, this right is limited to deliveries at licensed primary elevators.
    • Extending this right would resolve inconsistencies in producer treatment across the licensed grain handling system
  2. Allow the Canadian Grain Commission to establish and administer a producer compensation fund to compensate producers when a licensee fails to pay for a grain delivery.
    • The amendment would give the Canadian Grain Commission additional flexibility to implement an alternative producer payment protection model.
    • The fund would be funded by licensee contributions, which would be based on their expected risk of failure and volume of grain purchases. Payments would be distributed to eligible producers when a licensee fails to pay.
    • The fund would pool the risk of payment failure. It is anticipated that it would reduce industry costs and administrative requirements.
    • Until a fund is developed, the existing security-based program and its requirements would continue, that is, producers would be covered by the security program, and licensees would be required to post sufficient security.

Enhance grain quality and safety assurance

  1. Create a new class of licence for container loading facilities. A new class of licence would allow the Canadian Grain Commission to:
    • Effectively respond to quality complaints on the increasing volume of grain shipped in containers
    • Improve statistical reporting
    • License the grain industry more consistently
  2. Permit the Canadian Grain Commission to monitor, test and enforce grain safety issues in grain elevators in Eastern Canada as required where provincial authorities do not exist.
    • The Canadian Grain Commission would have the ability to request samples of grain from Eastern elevators.
    • The change would improve the Canadian Grain Commission’s capacity to identify and mitigate safety issues and help resolve market access disputes.
    • It would also provide a consistent, national approach to grain safety issues.
    • The change would not expand the Canadian Grain Commission’s licensing authority in Eastern Canada. Primary and process elevators east of Thunder Bay would continue to follow provincial regulations.
    • The change would not be implemented until stakeholders and provincial governments in Eastern Canada have been consulted.

Modernize the Canada Grain Act

  1. Clarify that the Canadian Grain Commission acts in the interest of all Canadians, including the entire grain sector and grain producers.
    • This clarification would address stakeholder concerns that the current mandate, which speaks specifically of grain producers, is not in keeping with the Canadian Grain Commission’s role as an unbiased regulator.
    • All aspects of producer protection would be maintained, and the Canadian Grain Commission would continue to perform specific functions in the interests of producers, such as binding determination of grade and dockage (Subject to inspector’s grade and dockage) and allocating producer cars.
  2. Establish a non-binding process for reviewing certain Canadian Grain Commission decisions, such as exemptions, licence suspensions, and refusals to grant permissions.
    • The review process would consist of a panel of 3 members:
      • 1 chosen by the party requesting the review
      • 1 chosen by the Canadian Grain Commission
      • 1 chosen by both parties
    • Currently, a stakeholder’s only recourse is to seek review by a court.
    • The review process would be a less costly and more responsive way for stakeholders to appeal decisions that affect their businesses.
  3. Provide authority for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to appoint and re-appoint members to the grain standards committees, upon recommendation of the Commission.
    • The Minister would also establish the terms of office for the non-government members and establish a maximum term of office.
  4. Permit the Canadian Grain Commission to enact regulations that require producers and shippers to make declarations on grain deliveries.  
    • The Canadian grain industry implemented an industry-wide declaration system for western Canadian wheat in 2008.
    • Currently, grain companies use declarations for most type of grain deliveries.
    • Declarations are part of a larger quality management system for western Canadian grain, which includes testing and monitoring protocols for industry.
    • Regulations would define the declaration process.
  5. Make certain offences under the Canada Grain Act subject to administrative monetary penalties under the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act.
    • The amendment would allow the Canadian Grain Commission to respond more appropriately to common violations of the Canada Grain Act and would improve compliance.
  6. Permit licensees to refuse varieties of grain that are not registered under the Seeds Act for sale or import into Canada.
    • The amendment would not exclude producers from declaring and delivering unregistered varieties.
    • It would allow elevator managers some discretion regarding the orderly delivery of grain.