Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 02, 2010 13:25 ET

Minister Ritz Announces Appointments to the Canadian Grain Commission

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2010) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced the appointment of Murdoch MacKay as Commissioner, and the reappointment of Jim Smolik as Assistant Chief Commissioner, of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC).

"I am pleased to announce these appointments to the Canadian Grain Commission," said Minister Ritz. "Following a long and distinguished career as a senior executive in Canada's grain industry, Mr. MacKay is well positioned to serve farmers in this role. With Mr. Smolik's reappointment, grain farmers will continue to benefit from his valuable expertise accumulated over three decades in the industry."

The CGC is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada's grain quality standards. The organization's programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The CGC regulates the grain industry to protect producers' rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.

The CGC reports to Canada's Parliament through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Mr. Smolik's reappointment, which came into effect on November 25, 2010, is for a term of three years. Mr. MacKay's appointment is for a three-year term and is effective December 6, 2010. Biographical notes for the appointees are attached.

To learn more about the CGC, please visit Canadian Grain Commission (

Biographical Notes

Murdoch MacKay

Murdoch MacKay began his grain industry career with United Grain Growers (UGG) in 1979. Over the next six years at UGG, he assumed positions of increasing responsibility, becoming Vice President, Terminal Services, in 1985. Mr. MacKay served in this capacity for 20 years, including the period after the merger that created a new company, Agricore United. From 2005 to 2007, he held the post of Agricore United's Vice President of Operations. In addition, Mr. MacKay has chaired the Terminal Elevators Association and served on the Boards of Directors of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and Prince Rupert Grain. He was also a member of the Western Standards Committee, which meets twice a year to recommend specifications for grades of grain, and select and recommend standard samples to the CGC. Since 2007, Mr. MacKay has been President of Standoch International Inc., a firm specializing in management and consulting services to industry and government. Among its key projects, the company conducted a study to assess the viability of constructing an oilseed processing plant and biodiesel facility. A resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mr. MacKay holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one from Carleton University and the other from the University of Manitoba. 

Jim Smolik

First appointed Assistant Chief Commissioner of the CGC in 2007, Jim Smolik lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Before his appointment, he co-owned and operated the family's 3,300-acre grain farm in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, for 32 years. Over the course of his long career in the grains and oilseeds industry, Mr. Smolik acquired in-depth knowledge of all areas of production, handling, transportation and marketing of grains, oilseeds and fine seeds. He was an active member of the British Columbia Grain Producers Association for 20 years, during which time he held the positions of President and Vice President. Mr. Smolik also represented farmers on the national level as an executive committee member of the Grain Growers of Canada and served as the organization's President and Vice President. In addition, he sat on a wide range of government and industry committees including the National Safety Nets Advisory Committee, the Next Generation APF Advisory Committee and as a board member of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary