|Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.|
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — At the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) annual convention on March 15, Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, stated lowering user fees was a priority and that the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) was consulting with industry to find ways to save money for growers.
On March 1, the CGC launched consultations on proposed changes to its user fees and began a discussion about potential uses of surplus funds.
MacAulay recently welcomed the CGC’s proposal to reduce fees for official grain inspection and official grain weighing services effective Aug. 1, 2017. Supplementary fees for overtime related to official grain inspection services would also be eliminated.
“One of the results of the tremendous production we’ve seen in Western Canada over the past few years has been higher revenues at the Canadian Grain Commission,” MacAulay said. “As a result, I committed to our stakeholders to look at ways to lower its user fees. Today’s announcement is an important step to putting more money in the pockets of our farmers, helping to grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.”
The reduced fees would result in a 24% decrease in fees, or estimated savings of approximately C$10 million, for the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year. The proposed changes would limit further accumulation of surplus revenue in the CGC revolving fund. The proposed changes were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on April 22, 2017. Stakeholders have until May 22, 2017, to comment on the proposed changes.
The CGC is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada’s grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. It regulates the grain industry to protect producers’ rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions in Canada.