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News Release: Government Running Out Of Time To Deliver On Promises To Canada’s Agri-Food Businesses

A new report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Cultivating Competitiveness: Turning Agri-food Regulatory Reform Promises into Action highlights the need for government to act urgently to reduce regulatory burdens on Canada’s agri-food businesses.
“There are dozens of studies and reports spanning more than a decade that all arrive at similar conclusions – complex and inconsistent regulations are limiting our agriculture sector’s ability to innovate and reach new markets. It is time for government to turn all of this work into action and modernize Canada’s agri-food regulations,” said Ryan Greer, Senior Director, Transportation and Infrastructure Policy, and author of the report.
The agri-food sector is important to Canada’s economic prosperity. Canada is the 5th largest agricultural commodity exporter and 11th largest exporter of manufactured food products in the world, but given Canada’s potential, these are a floor, not a ceiling.
“Many of industry’s challenges with these regulatory regimes are not new, nor are pledges to fix them. With a federal election around the corner, the government has a narrow window to show meaningful progress on this key driver of Canadian jobs. It is imperative that the government avoid the temptation to cherry pick from the recommendations of the Economic Strategy Table to address these problems, and instead make all of the systemic changes the sector needs to meet Canada’s agri-food export goal of $85 billion by 2025,” added Greer.
Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce President, Sarah MacKenzie added “agriculture is a critical component of our local economy with over 800 farms and ranches in Cypress County alone. With trade disputes and regulatory uncertainty, now is the time to modernize our regulatory system so that it allows our agricultural community to be even stronger drivers of the economy.”
The federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth and Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table have validated the problems and proposed solutions for many of the regulatory challenges facing the sector. The Canadian Chamber report makes further recommendations and outlines measures that the federal government should take in 2019 to demonstrate that it is serious about addressing these regulatory problems:


  • Commit to implementing all of the recommendations of the Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table Report
  • Pass legislation to make regulatory efficiency and economic growth a permanent part of regulators’ mandates, including Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Make the targeted regulatory review of the agri-food sector a permanent, ongoing-model for regulatory modernization
  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine the cumulative impacts of all the new regulatory proposals that are currently facing the sector
For more information about the costs of regulatory burden on Canadian businesses, please visit Regulate Smarter.
For more information or comment, please contact:
Sarah MacKenzie, President
c/o Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce
(403) 527-5214 ext.221
Phil Taylor
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
613.238.4000 (2231)

The Chamber of Commerce is a member-driven, volunteer-led organization, proudly representing the interests of businesses in our region, and working diligently to stimulate a strengthened and vibrant economy through our connections, support and influence. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has stood for promoting business, monitoring government and championing managed growth in the local economy. The Chamber represents over 800 businesses in our region and is aligned with both the Alberta Chambers of Commerce (ACC), which represents over 25,000 businesses and the Canadian Chambers of Commerce (CCC), which represents over 200,000 businesses. With the largest and most influential business organizations locally, provincially and federally, the Chamber network is the most unified, valued and influential business network in Canada and works together to shape policy and programs that will make a difference to businesses in our region.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions.


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