2015-2016 Departmental Performance Report
Minister's Message

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The Honourable Jane Philpott, PC, MP
Minister of Health

The Honourable Jane Philpott

I am pleased to present this Departmental Performance Report, which provides details on the many activities that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) conducted during the 2015–2016 fiscal year to fulfill its mission. In 2015–2016, the CFIA once again lived up to its reputation as a world-class regulator in the animal health, plant protection, and food safety sectors. Using a scientific approach focused on prevention, the Agency worked closely with its portfolio partners - Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada - to continue implementing modern regulations, processes, and systems, all with service excellence in mind.

With regard to food safety, the CFIA began to phase in its new integrated Agency Inspection Model in the fall of 2015, applying the new inspection model in select fish, feed, dairy, and greenhouse facilities across the country. The new model, which applies globally recognized prevention-based concepts, is introducing a standard process for inspections across all regulated commodities. In addition, the CFIA continued to reform the regulations that support the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the Agricultural Growth Act to further strengthen and modernize Canada's food safety system.

To mitigate risks to Canada's plant resources, which are essential to a safe and accessible food supply, the CFIA modernized the legislation protecting Canada's plant resources. In February 2015, amendments to the Plant Breeders' Rights Act came into force, which opened the door to Canada ratifying the 1991 update of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants in June 2015. The CFIA's Plant Breeders' Rights Office, now accepts applications and grants rights under the revised intellectual property framework.

In addition, the CFIA advanced on several animal health priorities in 2015–2016. For example, after experiencing outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, the CFIA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture jointly implemented a guidance framework that outlined how Canada and the United States would recognize and accept each other's decisions regarding animal disease eradication zones when an outbreak occurs. This framework allowed trade to continue in disease-free zones while the outbreaks were being managed in the affected areas.

Also during 2015–2016, the CFIA expanded its initiatives contributing to consumer protection. By using modern digital tools like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and its website, the Agency shared food safety advice and information on food recalls with a growing number of Canadians in a timely and interactive way. In fact, the CFIA experienced major growth in its social media audiences - the number of Twitter followers increased by 83%, the Facebook fan base grew by 264%, and the LinkedIn community expanded by 32%. The Agency also posted more than 3,045 social media messages, which generated more than 15 million views.

The CFIA strengthened its international collaboration efforts during the 2015–2016 fiscal year. For example, the Agency continued working to align its regulatory approaches with the United States through the Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Beyond the Border initiative. The Agency collaborated with other international partners through the European Union's Joint Management Committee meetings, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Trade Organization's Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee meetings with Colombia and Korea, various plant health meetings with the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and Consultative Committee on Agriculture meetings with Mexico and Brazil.

The world is changing quickly - with new technology, business transformation, increases in import and export volume, new and emerging threats, and increasing consumer expectations - but I am confident that the CFIA's tireless efforts are keeping up with that change. I am proud of the skills, integrity, and professionalism that CFIA employees display every day. Through their hard work and dedication, they personify the Government of Canada's commitment to the health and safety of Canadians.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, PC, MP
Minister of Health

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