Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

April 11, 2012 16:54 ET

Statement from Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 11, 2012) - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are transforming the way they do business and changes being announced today will reduce barriers to growth and help spur the long term economic prosperity of our agriculture and food industry.

The Agency will not make any changes that would in any way place the health and safety of Canadians at risk. In fact, Economic Action Plan 2012 includes an additional $51 million over two years to enhance food safety, building upon the $100 million in last year's budget. Ensuring safe food for Canadian families is CFIA's priority and these changes underscore that commitment. Since 2006, the Harper Government has provided the investments for the CFIA to hire 733 net new inspection staff.

Agriculture is a competitive modern industry, and changes will modernize Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada allowing it to concentrate on innovation, marketing and reducing barriers for business.

Our Government was elected on a promise to balance the budget. The Agriculture Portfolio will realize 10 per cent in cost savings. Our savings are fair, balanced and moderate and will be implement over a number of years.

For example, we will consolidate our grants and contributions programs. By delivering our programs out of one branch, our department will offer more efficient services by fewer people. Farmers and the industry will benefit from this change, which will simplify the application process and reduce paperwork and other redundancies, while reducing costs.

Our new streamlined approach will provide the sector with efficiently and effectively delivered programs that will meet the priorities of farmers and industry.

The Government will continue strategic investments and risk management programs to support farmers. We will continue this commitment as we negotiate the next policy framework with our PT partners.

These changes are part of our ongoing transformative agenda focused on allowing farmers to maximize returns from the marketplace. As the agriculture and food industry evolves so too must the Government.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz