Terms of reference - Western and Eastern standards committees

These committees, constituted pursuant to the Canada Grain Act (the Act), consist of representatives of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), and all segments of the grain industry, including producers, processors, exporters and others as the Commission deems advisable.

Objectives

The objectives of the Western and Eastern standards committee are to:

  • Meet in early spring and late fall for the Western Standards Committee. The Eastern Standards Committee meets in spring and late fall or via conference call.
  • At these meetings, the members examine and recommend the primary and export standard samples which will apply for that year’s crop.
  • Various interested parties within the grain industry, including producers, make recommendations to the Canadian Grain Commission for the establishment of new grades of grain or changes in the grading specifications of grain already established under the Act. The recommendations may be accepted by the Canadian Grain Commission, and changes made by the Canadian Grain Commission to the grades and their specifications contained in Schedule III to the Canada Grain Regulations. They usually become effective on July 1 for Canada Eastern grain grades and on August 1 for all others.

Membership

Pursuant to subsection 20(1) of the Canada Grain Act, the Commission constitutes both the Western and Eastern standards committees by by-law.

Western Standards Committee

According to subsection 20(2) of the Act, the Commission can, with the approval of the Minister, appoint to the Western Standards Committee the following members:

  • a commissioner, a grain inspector and a scientist;
  • 2 persons nominated by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food;
  • 2 persons selected from among processors of grain;
  • 2 persons selected from among exporters of grain;
  • 12 actual producers of western grain;
  • not more than 3 additional persons as the Commission deems advisable.

(Total: 26 members)

Eastern Standards Committee

According to subsection 20(3) of the Act, the Commission can, with the approval of the Minister, appoint to the Eastern Standards Committee the following members:

  • a commissioner, a grain inspector and a scientist;
  • 1 person nominated by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food;
  • 4 persons selected from among processors and exporters of grain;
  • not more than 4 persons representative of producers of eastern grain; and
  • not more than 3 additional persons as the Commission deems advisable.

(Total: 15 members)

Membership application process

Producer organizations and industry companies will be invited to submit a ‘notice of interest’ letter for membership on either the Western or Eastern standards committees. Each producer organization and industry company will be asked to nominate potential representatives for either of the committees. The Canadian Grain Commission will then review all requests to select representatives best suited to meet the objectives of each committee.

Chairman

The Chief Commissioner shall preside as chairman at each meeting of a grain standards committee.

Oath of office

Pursuant to subsection 21(1) of the Act, each member of the Committee (except those employed in the public service) is required to take an Oath of Office before assuming their duties.

Term of office

Pursuant to subsections 21(2) and (3) of the Act, the Commission may establish by by-law the terms of office for those members not employed in the public service to a maximum term of 7 consecutive years. Currently, By-law No. 4 provides for a term of 3 years from the date of appointment with the possibility of being renewed twice for a period of 2 years for each renewal.

Quorum

Pursuant to subsection 21(4) of the Act, the quorum of each committee is at least half of the number of members on the committee.

Remuneration and expenses

  • Pursuant to Section 22 of the Act, each member not employed in the public service is entitled to be paid an allowance for each in-person meeting in the amount of $200.00 per day or $100.00 per day for his/her participation by conference call lasting in excess of one hour or $50.00 for conference calls lasting one hour or less.
  • Each member not employed in the public service is entitled to be paid per diem travel expenses as stated in the Treasury Board Guidelines when attending every in-person meeting.
  • As well, any member who is in travel status in excess of 5 hours (one way) in combination of air, rail and vehicle will be paid an additional flat fee of $100.00. For audit purposes, all receipts are to be accompanied with the members’ travel claims.

Duties of the Western and Eastern standards committees

The duties of the Western and Eastern standards committees are outlined in subsections 24(2) and (4), and Section 25 of the Act.

  • 24(2) A grain standards committee shall examine the samples of grain supplied to the committee by the Commission and
    • (a) select and recommend to the Commission samples of each grade of grain for which a representative sample was prepared pursuant to paragraph 23(a) that in the opinion of such committee represent as accurately as possible the minimum of that grade;
    • (b) recommend to the Commission names and specifications for other grades of grain that, in the opinion of the committee, should be established for the current crop year; and
    • (c) select and recommend to the Commission samples of each grade of grain recommended pursuant to paragraph (b) that, in the opinion of the committee, represent as accurately as possible the minimum of that grade.
  • 24(4) The Western Standards Committee shall, in respect of
    • (a) each grade of western red spring wheat and western amber durum wheat that, in the opinion of the Commission, is likely to be sold for export, and
    • (b) any other grade of western grain that the Commission refers to it for consideration, examine the samples of grain of that grade supplied to the Committee by the Commission and select and recommend to the Commission samples of the grade that, in the opinion of the Committee, represent as accurately as possible the average of grain of that grade received at any or all elevators at any or all inspection points.
  • 25 A grain standards committee may
    • (a) delegate to a subcommittee of its members, which shall include an inspector, any function assigned to the committee by paragraph 24(2)(b) or (c); and
    • (b) if a sample of any grade of grain is not available in a crop year, or if the committee is of the opinion that the quality of a grade of grain has not varied significantly from the immediately preceding crop year, recommend to the Commission a sample approved by the Commission for that grade in a previous crop year

Decision making process

The Western and Eastern standards committees will make every effort to arrive at a final decision for the benefit of the producers, industry and domestic and international customers.

Roles

Chairperson

  • Attend and chair the Western and Eastern standards committee meetings.
  • Bring forward issues and concerns related to the grading of commodities in conjunction with the Chief Grain Inspector's office.
  • Facilitate input from all stakeholders.
  • Attend the Western and Eastern standards committee meetings and fairly represent the issues, decisions and recommendations at the meeting.
  • Fairly represent the view of producers in recommending standards of quality that:
    • Enable producers to be paid according to the quality they produce;
    • Ensure that domestic and international customers can source the quality they want; and
    • Facilitate the segregation in the transportation and handling system.

Producer members

  • Bring commodity-related issues forward as agenda items.
  • Attend the Western and Eastern standards committee meetings.
  • Fairly represent the views of producers in recommending standards of quality that:
    • Enable producers to be paid according to the quality they produce;
    • Ensure that domestic and international customers can source the quality they want; and
    • Facilitate the segregation in the transportation and handling system.

Industry members

  • Bring commodity-related issues forward as agenda items.
  • Attend the Western and Eastern standards committee meetings.
  • Fairly represent the views of the industry in recommending standards of quality that:
    • Enable producers to be paid according to the quality they produce;
    • Ensure that domestic and international customers can source the quality they want; and
    • Facilitate the segregation in the transportation and handling system.

Designated Canadian Grain Commission members

  • In conjunction with the Chief Grain Inspector's office, bring grading issues forward as agenda items to the Western and Eastern standards committee meetings.
  • In conjunction with the administrative staff, ensures the compilation and distribution of agendas and background material for the Western and Eastern standards committee meetings.
  • Ensure that all members thoroughly understand the goals and objectives of the Western and Eastern standards committee and that they are in accordance with the responsibilities associated with being a committee member as described in the Terms of Reference.
  • Recommend standards of quality that:
    • Enable producers to be paid according to the quality they produce;
    • Ensure that domestic and international customers can source the quality they want; and
    • Facilitate the segregation in the transportation and handling system.

Canadian Grain Commission administrative staff

  • Lead a team of administrative staff involved in the preparation of each Western and Eastern standards committee meeting.
  • In conjunction with the designated Canadian Grain Commission Western and Eastern standards committee member, ensure the gathering, preparation and distribution of all meeting information.
  • Coordinate meeting facilities, meeting information, travel arrangements, and post-meeting travel claims.
  • Attend Western and Eastern standards committee meetings.
  • Ensure the recording, preparation and distribution of minutes of Western and Eastern standards committee meeting