Questions and Answers: A Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada

Why develop a Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada?

Protecting Canada's plant and animal resources depends on the ability of government, industry, academia and others to anticipate and prepare for future challenges and opportunities facing Canada. With increasingly complex and continuously changing risks, a new approach is needed so that Canada can continue to safeguard plant and animal health. By working together, we can emphasize prevention instead of being reactive.

Some examples of the challenges that can put Canada's plant and animal resources at risk include:

  • increased movement of people across our borders
  • increasing trade, changing trade patterns and emerging markets
  • global supply chains
  • changing production methods and consolidation of producers
  • changes in climate, which may increase the ranges of pests and diseases
  • technological changes

Who wrote the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada?

The Plant and Animal Health Strategy was co-created by federal, provincial, academia and territorial governments, industry and others who play a role in plant and animal health.

How was the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada developed?

In July 2014, federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture requested a comprehensive and collaborative approach to emergency management. In July 2016, the ministers endorsed the Emergency Management Framework for Agriculture in Canada and identified the need to develop a national plant and animal health strategy. The ideas and feedback received during the consultation on the Emergency Management Framework also contributed to the development of the strategy.

The strategy covers four areas for action:

  1. prevention
  2. collection, analysis and sharing of information
  3. coordination through partnerships
  4. enabling desired behaviours

Who was consulted on this strategy?

Early consultations were held in fall of 2016 and included a discussion document, face-to-face meetings in all 10 provinces, an online questionnaire and social media. The first phase of engagement culminated in the National Plant and Animal Health Planning Forum held in December 2016, which brought together 168 participants from 95 organizations.

How will the strategy be implemented?

Now that the strategy has been endorsed by Canada's agriculture ministers, work can begin on implementing it.

The strategy presents an expansive list of potential activities categorized according to four areas for action:

  • coordination through partnerships
  • a system founded on prevention;
  • collecting, analyzing and sharing information; and
  • enabling desired behaviours

The two implementation coordinating councils will plan and prioritize these activities.

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