House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food
Advancements of Technology and Research in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector that can support Canadian Exports
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food undertook a study, “Advancements of Technology and Research in the Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector that can support Canadian Exports.”
In January 2019, the Committee’s report was released, and includes 23 recommendations:
Recommendation 1—Reducing the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada incentivize the Canadian agriculture sector’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
Recommendation 2—Creation of a technology monitoring initiative The Committee recommends that the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food institute a technology monitoring initiative to identify growth opportunities for the agriculture sector in international markets.
Recommendation 3—Transportation to export markets The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada increase capacity for transporting and shipping exports, particularly grain, and communicate infrastructure investments and planned results.
Recommendation 4—Promotion of job opportunities in the sector The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada undertake a campaign to promote high-tech job opportunities in the agriculture sector to Canadian youth.
Recommendation 5—Labour shortages The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada address labour shortages to increase capacity in food processing, equipment manufacturing, and in primary agriculture, year-round and seasonally.
Recommendation 6—Harmonization of regulatory requirements The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada enhance regulatory cooperation with its foreign partners to harmonize science-based regulatory requirements.
Recommendation 7—Providing resources to support Canadian exporters The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada provide the appropriate resources to support Canadian exporters by promoting the harmonization of science-based regulatory requirements within foreign jurisdictions.
Recommendation 8—Support for agriculture and agri-food businesses The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada support initiatives for the establishment, start-up and growth of agriculture and agrifood businesses using new technologies.
Recommendation 9—New regulations The Committee recommends that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Pest Management Regulatory Agency modernize regulatory approval processes and improve their performance.
Recommendation 10—Access to broadband Internet The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada continue to improve access to broadband Internet in rural farming communities by further investing and provide transparency on existing planned coverage.
Recommendation 11—Deduction for the acquisition of new farm equipment The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada create an expedited tax deduction process for the acquisition of new agricultural equipment
Recommendation 12—Review of Canada’s Income Tax Act The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada review Canada’s Income Tax Act to address the competitive imbalance between Canadian farmers and Canada’s main trade partners.
Recommendation 13—Simplification of the funding application process The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada simplify the application process for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program to include on-farm research to facilitate access to tax incentives.
Recommendation 14—Support to develop new products The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada improve access and awareness of programs to help companies take new products and technological processes from design to commercialization to export sales and trade services.
Recommendation 15—Agricultural products regulation review The Committee recommends that the Minister of Health review how Health Canada regulates agricultural products through the Office of Controlled Substances and coordinate with the Minister of Agriculture to identify and remedy regulatory oversights/overlaps that are inhibiting technological advancement and innovation in the agricultural industry.
Recommendation 16—Evaluation of the procedures and practices of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-food The Committee recommends that in order to ensure technological advancements and innovation in agriculture are not being hindered, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food undertake an evaluation of its procedures and practices regarding the Agricultural Growth Act.
Recommendation 17—Acceptance of products by export markets The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada resolve irritants and issues that limit innovation and competitiveness in export markets to have them accept domestically approved products or technological processes.
Recommendation 18—Review of regulatory processes The Committee recommends that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency undertake a review of its regulatory processes with the aim of evaluating how its procedures may inhibit technological advancement and innovation.
Recommendation 19—Modernizing the regulatory approval process The Committee recommends that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency modernize, simplify, and speed up the regulatory approval process so companies can take advantage of market opportunities as they arise.
Recommendation 20—Bringing science to the public The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada support knowledge transfer in agriculture to bring science to the public as new agricultural technologies are developed.
Recommendation 21—Public trust The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada allocate resources to inform the public about regulatory processes, and how regulators make their decisions, and to make this information public.
Recommendation 22—Open Information The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada provide more open access to information for federal research in agriculture and processing.
Recommendation 23—Priority on export and development That the Government of Canada put a priority on research and development projects that can result in export development and make this part of funding decisions
House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development
Clean Growth and Climate Change in Canada: Forestry, Agriculture and Waste
Beginning in 2018, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development undertook a study of Clean Growth and Climate Change that subdivided into three separate studies, including on focused on Forestry, Agriculture and Waste.
Committee’s report is currently being finalized and will be available soon.
House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance
AIC has submitted material as part of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s pre-budget consultation process. Submissions available at the links below.
2020 Pre-Budget Consultation
2019 Pre-Budget Consultation
Committee’s Report available here.
2018 Pre-Budget Consultation
AIC appeared as a witness in September 2017.
Committee’s Report available here.
Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry
Effects of Climate Change on the Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry Sectors
From 2017-18, the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry undertook a study regarding the potential impacts of the effects of climate change on the agriculture, agri-food and forestry sectors.
AIC participated in this study in September 2017.
In December 2018, the Committee’s final report was made public. It includes a number of recommendations relevant to our members and stakeholders, as well as directly quotes AIC’s presentation:
Serge Buy, of the Agricultural Institute of Canada, emphasized Canada’s potential to become a global leader in agricultural innovation, noting that government has an important role in incentivizing development and adoption of new, green technologies, and suggesting that “carbon pricing has the ability to become a key driver of innovation in Canada’s agricultural sector.”
Recommendations of note are below. A full list of recommendations can be found here.
That Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Natural Resources Canada and universities:
- increase investment in research related to longer-term adaptation and resilience building; and
- ensure that research results are shared with agricultural producers and forest owners/managers.
That Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Natural Resources Canada work with provincial and territorial counterparts and universities to enhance extension services related to adaptation in agriculture and forestry.
That Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development through its granting councils, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada, undertake and/or support research that will help to establish baseline levels of soil organic carbon to support the development of offset protocols for carbon sequestration across Canada.
That the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development expand the amount of research funding available for applied climate change research and multi-disciplinary research.
That the Government of Canada:
- ensure that research funding is available for high-level assessment to determine the most effective, economical investments in climate change action; and
- continue to implement programs and initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the use of new materials, such as advanced bioproducts, and new technologies to sequester carbon, like constructing tall buildings with wood.
That Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in collaboration with its provincial and territorial counterparts:
- enhance extension services to help farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
- support those already using lower-emissions approaches, including organic farming.
Supporting innovation with regulations, information and science from the point of view of science professionals