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Agricultural Growth Act: Supporting Canada's agriculture industry through effective government

The Government is committed to supporting Canada's farmers and our world-class agriculture industry, to ensure they remain competitive on world markets and serve the needs of Canadians.

The Agricultural Growth Act is a bill designed to modernize and strengthen federal agriculture legislation, support innovation in the Canadian agriculture industry and enhance global market opportunities. The bill proposes changes to the suite of statutes that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) uses to regulate our agricultural sector:

The bill also amends the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act (AMPA) and Farm Debt Mediation Act (FDMA) which fall under the purview of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

Supporting innovation

The proposed amendments will encourage innovation and research in Canada's agricultural sector. Some examples include:

  1. Strengthening intellectual property rights for plant varieties in Canada under the PBR Act to:
    • Encourage increased investment in plant breeding in Canada
    • Motivate international breeders to protect and sell their varieties here
    • Align current statute with the 1991 Convention of International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91).
    • Provide Canadian farmers with access to the latest innovative varieties that have been bred to enhance crop yields, improve disease and drought resistance and meet specific international market demands
  2. Expanding the authorities in the Feeds Act, Fertilizers Act, Health of Animals Act and Seeds Act to include international scientific research when approving new agricultural products in order to:
    • Create a regulatory environment that benefits from the latest scientific research by allowing international reviews, data and analysis to be considered along with information from ongoing Canadian studies
    • Support a more effective approvals process so that Canadian farmers can benefit from the latest scientific research from around the world
    • Reduce administrative burden and red tape

Modernizing and strengthening

The proposed amendments to the Feeds Act, Fertilizers Act, Health of Animals Act, Seeds Act and Plant Protection Act will reduce red tape and improve how Government carries out its business with the Canadian agriculture industry. Some examples include:

  1. Modernizing business processes to:
    • Enable more efficient and effective processes across all agricultural commodities
    • Increase consistency across the suite of CFIA agricultural statutes
  2. Strengthening inspector authorities to:
    • Provide the CFIA with stronger tools to fulfill its mandate to protect Canada's plant and animal resource base
    • Allow CFIA to order non-compliant agricultural products immediately out of Canada, which will also reassure our farmers and consumers that imported agricultural products meet CFIA requirements

Enhancing global market opportunities

The proposed amendments will enhance trade and grow Canada's economy. Some examples include:

  1. Revising the Plant Breeders' Rights Act (PBR Act) to support Canada's agriculture industry accessing the latest international plant varieties will:
    • Level the playing field for Canadian farmers on the global stage
    • Allow Canadian farmers to access varieties that are in global demand
    • Stimulate productivity for the sector, which benefits farmers and grows Canada's economy
    • Provide Canada's plant breeding industry with a more stable, modern intellectual property environment that is in line with international partners
  2. Amending the Feeds Act and Fertilizers Act to allow for licensing and registration of fertilizer and animal feed operators and facilities that import or sell products across provincial or international borders in order to:
    • Align Canadian legislation with that of key international trading partners
    • Help our feed and fertilizer industries maintain their export markets
    • Provide a more effective and timely approach to assuring products meet Canada's stringent safety and other standards

When would the proposed changes come into effect?

If the Act receives Royal Assent, some of the changes would come into force almost immediately, while others would be phased in or require regulatory amendments.

Before any changes are implemented, the government is committed to full consultations to determine how best to move forward.