Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

November 18, 2010 09:37 ET

Government of Canada Strengthens Food Safety System With Ministerial Advisory Board

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2010) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that the Government of Canada has taken yet another step to strengthen Canada's food safety system by appointing seven highly qualified advisors to the Ministerial Advisory Board (MAB) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The MAB includes a diverse range of experts from the food, animal and plant health sectors who will advise the Minister on food safety and other issues related to the CFIA's mandate. This announcement fulfills another recommendation of the Report of the Independent Investigator into the 2008 Listeriosis Outbreak (the "Weatherill Report").

"Today's announcement is one more way we are improving an already world-recognized food safety system," said Minister Ritz. "This highly qualified and diverse advisory board builds upon our Government's increased investments, hiring of more inspectors, and enhanced Listeria testing."

The Ministerial Advisory Board will be an active forum; it will meet regularly and report annually.

"This outstanding group of individuals will be a vital, external source that will advise on how to further strengthen our food safety system," said Minister Ritz. "Our Government will continue to work towards fulfilling all 57 recommendations of the Weatherill Report."

The CFIA enforces 13 federal acts and is responsible for safeguarding Canada's food supply, monitoring animal health and protecting plants.

The advisory board expects to have their introductory meeting by the end of this year.

BACKGROUNDER

Minister's Advisory Board Biographies

Chair: Ronald Doering

Ronald Doering was the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency from 1998 to 2002. In addition to over 35 years of experience in law and public policy/administration, he has broad experience in all aspects of food and agricultural law, including labelling, recalls, biotechnology regulation, plant protection and animal health. He also has expertise in administrative law and practice, aboriginal law and policy, and environmental law and policy. He is currently a partner in the Ottawa law firm Gowlings.

Vice-Chair: Dr. David Chalack

Dr. Chalack is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. His numerous accreditations include being the Second Vice-Chairman of the Calgary Stampede from 1978 to the present; Director of the Canadian Livestock Genetics Exporters Association, 2000 to 2008; and Member of the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine Deans Advisory Council from 2008 to the present. Since 2001, he has also been Canadian Sales and Marketing Director for Alta Genetics Inc.

Dr. Rob McLaughlin

Dr. McLaughlin holds a doctorate degree in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Guelph. Dr. McLaughlin has led many different academic and government organizations throughout his career both with the University of Guelph, the Ontario Agricultural College and the Government of Ontario. He has held executive memberships on many boards including the Confederation of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, the Ontario Agricultural Leadership Trust and the Ontario Agricultural College Alumni Foundation. 

Dr. McLaughlin is currently the sole proprietor of Agrifood Innovations, a consultancy focussed on building networks and partnerships among stakeholders in the agrifood value chain.

Brooke Taylor

Mr. Taylor is a past serving Member of the Legislative Assembly from Colchester-Musquotoboit Valley, Nova Scotia. During his long career in Nova Scotia politics Mr. Taylor held the position of Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. Mr. Taylor retired from politics in 2009.

Dr. Harold Bjarnason

Dr. Bjarnason is a past Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Manitoba. He was also Associate Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada during the period 1987–1997. Dr. Bjarnason holds a Doctorate of Philosophy degree (Economics) from the University of Wisconsin. He currently sits on the board of the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Dr. Keith Downey

Dr. Downey obtained his PhD from Cornell University in 1981, majoring in plant breeding genetics. He has received numerous awards including the Order of Canada. In 2002, he earned his rightful place in the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame and is a Senior Research Scientist Emeritus with Agriculture Canada. Dr. Downey has published over 200 scientific and technical papers relating to oilseeds and breeding techniques. Since 1993, he has been the President of Canaglobe Consulting Inc.

Marcel Groleau

For more than two decades, Mr. Groleau has been co-owner of the D.M. Groleau Inc. dairy farm. The 223-hectare farm has 225 head of purebred Holsteins. Mr. Groleau has been a member of the Dairy Farmers of Canada executive since May 2004 and President of the Syndicat des producteurs de lait de Québec since March 1992. The Syndicat is the largest carrier in Quebec for farm milk collection and transports 204 million litres of milk annually. Mr. Groleau was elected personality of the year by the Amiante (Thetford Mines) chamber of commerce in 2000. Since 2006, he has been president of Valacta.

Ex-Officio Member: Dr. Brian Evans

Effective June 28, 2010, Dr. Evans was appointed Canada's first Chief Food Safety Officer. Dr. Evans has been the Chief Veterinary Officer of Canada since the inception of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in 1997 and the delegate of the Government of Canada to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) since 1999. For the past three years, Dr. Evans served as Executive Vice-President of the CFIA. Before the creation of the CFIA, Dr. Evans held senior-level positions within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and spent several years in private practice, focusing on reproductive herd health.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations
    613-773-6600