2013–14 Estimates Report on Plans and Priorities

Complete Report

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Minister's Message

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Privy Councillor, Member of Parliament

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, PC, MP
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Canada has one of the best food safety and animal and plant health regulatory systems in the world. But the world in which the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) operates is changing and the Agency must continually evolve to ensure a high level of protection for Canadian families and support for our vital agri-food sector and plant and animal resource base.

Shaping the CFIA for the future means adapting to advances in science and technology and responding to changes in the environment, global agricultural trade patterns, available food products and consumer demands. The CFIA's 2013–14 Report on Plans and Priorities outlines how the Government of Canada will respond to these changes while continuing to move forward the Agency's day-to-day business.

The CFIA recently marked a significant milestone in its history. The Safe Food for Canadians Act (Bill S-11) was passed in Parliament and received Royal Assent. This new legislation consolidates the authorities of multiple food statutes into one Act. It also serves to complete the Government's response to the recommendations found in the Report of the Independent Investigator into the 2008 Listeriosis Outbreak. Moreover, the Agency, Canada's largest science-based regulator, is now supported by legislation that will strengthen food safety oversight, better protect consumers and enhance industry compliance.

Over the coming year the CFIA will continue to update its food, animal and plant regulations and modernize its inspection systems. A new and improved single food inspection model will be phased in starting in 2013.

As we move forward, the CFIA will increase its focus on prevention, consumer protection and transparency. For example, the Agency will begin consultations on its Food Labelling Modernization Initiative. In addition, the CFIA will continue to build on the progress it has already made in providing the public with useful and timely information about the work that it does and how it does it.

The CFIA will also remain active internationally, seeking to develop and maintain relationships globally. This includes continuing the important work initiated last year with the United States on the Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council initiatives and supporting new trade and information-sharing relationships with other countries and international organizations.

The CFIA is meeting the challenges of a complex and ever-changing food safety, animal and plant health landscape. This is thanks in large measure to its highly-skilled and adaptive workforce. I continue to rely on the collaborative efforts of the CFIA and the entire Agriculture and Agri-Food portfolio to help meet the needs of consumers and the agri-food sector and to protect Canada's plant and animal resource base.

The CFIA will report on its progress in the Agency's 2013–14 Performance Report.

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, PC, MP
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

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