Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 13, 2007 12:12 ET

Minister Ritz Tables Amendments to the Canada Grain Act and the Canadian Grain Commission

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2007) - The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today introduced amendments to the Canada Grain Act (CGA) to address evolving needs of the grain sector. The proposed changes will help to modernize the CGA and the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). They include clarifying the CGC's mandate, focusing the CGC on value-added activities for the grain industry and strengthening enforcement measures.

"The Government of Canada is taking action to benefit farmers by improving the regulatory environment for Canada's grain sector," said Minister Ritz. "We are updating the Canada Grain Act and the Canadian Grain Commission and making sure the CGC continues to meet the needs of farmers and the entire industry."

The proposed changes to the CGA and the CGC are based on recommendations of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food following a public, comprehensive and independent review of the Act and the CGC in 2006 by COMPAS Inc. Stakeholders were consulted extensively and given many opportunities to provide input throughout the review process.

The proposed reforms to the CGA and CGC are consistent with the goals expressed in the government's Growing Forward framework for agriculture. They will contribute to building a competitive and innovative grain sector by reducing costs, improving competitiveness, reducing regulation, and providing choice.


On August 1, 2005, Section 2.1 of Bill C-40 came into force, adding a new section 120.1 to the Canada Grain Act (CGA) requiring a review of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). The consulting firm COMPAS Inc. was selected to lead the review, building on reviews conducted over the previous six years. COMPAS consulted extensively with industry stakeholders online and at public meetings across the country.

The COMPAS report, tabled in the House of Commons and the Senate in September 2006, was referred to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (SCAAF) for review. The Standing Committee reported back in December 2006.

Canadian Grain Commission Mandate

In keeping with the recommendations of the Standing Committee, the CGC's mandate will be clarified by splitting it into two parts. Part one will set out the CGC's core mandate to establish and maintain quality standards for Canadian grain and to regulate grain handling in Canada to ensure a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets. The second part will make clear the CGC's mandate to protect farmer interests with respect to deliveries to elevators and grain dealers, access to binding CGC determination of the grade and dockage of grain deliveries, and the allocation of producer cars.

Mandatory Inward Inspection

Consistent with the recommendations of the Standing Committee, inward inspection and weighing of grain being delivered to terminal or transfer elevators will be made optional. Shippers will have the right to request weighing and inspection. Terminal and transfer elevator operators will be required to allow access to service providers who will do the weighing and inspection. While the CGC will no longer be involved in the delivery of this optional service, both shippers and elevator operators will have access to binding CGC arbitration in the event of dispute over a grain grade.

The Canadian grain quality assurance system will remain effective, maintaining Canada's reputation as a consistent supplier of quality grain. The CGC will continue to conduct its quality monitoring programs and export shipments will continue to be weighed, inspected and certified by the CGC.

Producer Payment Security

To reduce costs, the current CGC-administered producer payment security program will be ended. This will bring the Western Canadian grain industry in line with other agricultural sectors, and with the grain industry in Eastern Canada where the federal government does not require the industry to participate in similar security programs. Costs of such programs have ultimately been borne by producers. Ending the producer payment security program will reduce system costs, and remove a barrier to new entrants into the grain merchandising industry. With the federal government ending this mandatory program, the way will be clear for producer groups to develop a commodity clearing house or other ideas to help manage risk in a cost-effective way, if they so wish.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Patrick J. McCloskey
    Press Secretary