2012-2013 Departmental Performance Report
Minister's Message

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Honourable Rona Ambrose PC, MP Minister of Health

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, PC, MP
Minister of Health

I am pleased to welcome the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to the Health Portfolio. By having all three federal authorities responsible for healthy food and food safety, there is a clear focus on Canadian consumers. This change will allow for better coordination, collaboration and communication when it comes to food safety.

The Agency's 2012-13 Performance Report outlines its wide range of achievements in helping to ensure that Canada has a safe and accessible food supply and plant and animal resource base. The CFIA is working diligently to protect the health and safety of Canadians while modernizing its regulations and approach to inspection.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that Canadian consumers have confidence in the food they buy and eat. We understand that every day, parents make choices about what goes on the dinner table. Our Safe Food for Canadians Act was a significant milestone in strengthening Canada's world-class food safety system.

This Act gives the Agency a solid legislative platform from which to:

  • improve food safety oversight to better protect consumers;
  • streamline and strengthen legislative authorities; and
  • enhance internal market opportunities for Canadian industry.

Our Government will continue to work with the provinces and territories to further strengthen food inspection regimes.

Our Government introduced the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan. This Plan underscores that Canadian consumers remain our Government's top priority when it comes to healthy food and food safety. It provides a clear vision for the CFIA as it moves forward to strengthen what is already one of the strongest food safety systems in the world. It is underpinned by four main objectives:

  • stronger food safety rules;
  • more effective inspection;
  • a renewed commitment to service; and
  • more information for consumers.

The CFIA will continue to support the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for non-food safety agricultural activities, including economic and trade issues, as well as important animal health and plant protection work. For example, due to the efforts of the bi-national Regulatory Cooperation Council, Canada and the United States have agreed to recognize each other's disease control zoning for foreign animal disease outbreaks. This arrangement will keep the US market open to Canadian products while protecting animal and human health on both sides of the border during a foreign animal disease outbreak.

Canada continues to be a world leader in food safety. This reputation is based on the commitment to excellence and innovation, as well as the skills and dedication, of every member of the CFIA and the Health Portfolio. Our Government will continue to put the health and safety of Canadians first.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, PC, MP
Minister of Health

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