Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

February 27, 2015 12:11 ET

Minister Ritz Announces Royal Assent of Agricultural Growth Act

Industry celebrates passage of act that will modernize Canadian agriculture

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwired - Feb. 27, 2015) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced today that the Agricultural Growth Act (Bill C-18) received Royal Assent. The Agricultural Growth Act will modernize Canadian agriculture and increase trade opportunities for farmers.

Farmers now benefit from greater access to new crop varieties and the latest technology to remain competitive and meet the needs of Canadians. This new legislation strengthens agricultural intellectual property rights through the ratification of the Act of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, also known as UPOV'91, improves access to the latest scientific research, reduces red tape and regulatory burden on producers, and expands global market opportunities. As well, inspectors have stronger tools to enforce regulations and deter anyone who puts Canada's plant and animal resource base at risk.

Yesterday Minister Ritz tabled before Parliament a treaty to ratify the UPOV'91 Convention. The 1991 UPOV Convention is the international standard for plant breeders' rights. Being party to the UPOV'91 Convention will provide access to new and better tools to help Canada's farmers and agricultural industry grow their businesses and bring Canada in line with its major trading partners.

Ratification of the UPOV'91 Convention at the international level will facilitate farmers' access to new and innovative plant varieties while protecting intellectual property and encouraging investment.

This new legislation will increase trade opportunities, enhance oversight and contribute to Canada's overall economic growth.

Quick facts

  • Aggregate net cash income for 2014 is expected to reach $14.0 billion, 10% above the 2013 record.

  • Under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, the Government of Canada is investing more than $70 million in grains, oilseeds and special crops research projects.

  • C-18 updates the suite of statutes that the government uses to regulate Canada's agricultural sector: Plant Breeders' Rights Act, Feeds Act, Fertilizers Act, Seeds Act, Health of Animals Act, Plant Protection Act, Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act and Farm Debt Mediation Act.


"Canadian agriculture is an important driver of economic growth across Canada. The passage of the Agricultural Growth Act is a momentous step forward for our agricultural industry. This Bill will give producers a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, lead to increased investment in research and innovation, and translate into more jobs throughout the sector."

- Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

"The Canadian Seed Trade Association supports all of the measures included in this Bill as they continue to modernize regulatory and policy measures affecting agriculture and agri-food."

- Patty Townsend, President, Canadian Seed Trade Association

"The changes in the Agricultural Growth Act reflect a number of recommendations made by industry over the years and show that the government has been listening."

- Ron Bonnett, CFA President

"The proposed amendments in Bill C-18 to the Plant Breeders Rights Act will align Canada with the 1991 International Union for the Protection of New Varieties, or UPOV'91. This is important for ensuring Canadian farmers have access to the newest seed varieties so that we can remain competitive internationally."

- Gary Stanford, Grain Growers of Canada President

Contact Information

  • Jeff English
    Director of Communications
    The Office of Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture

    Media Relations
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency