Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agrifood (AGRI)

This week the committee continued its study of Bill S-11, known shorthand as the “Safe Foods for Canadians Act”.

Witnesses on October 30th came from the Canadian Meat Council, the Retail Council of Canada, the Dairy Farmers of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Regulated Importers. Each made comments on their impressions of S-11 and answered members questions. Some of the witnesses submitted amendments to the legislation that they thought would improve its overall quality and effectiveness.

During the October 30th meeting Malcolm Allen introduced a motion to allocate a budget of $5 790.00 for the committee’s study of Bill S-11, available here. It was seconded by Vice-Chair Frank Valeriote and was carried by the committee.

The second meeting saw witnesses from from a number of organizations involved directly in the agricultural and agrifoods sector. A witness from the Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters spoke negatively about a number of sections in Bill S-11 that AIECanada thought would hurt importers and exporters of food commodities.

In response to this, Vice-Chair Frank Valeriote introduced a motion to extend the committee’s study of Bill S-11 for two more meetings in order to adequately investigate the witness’ reports and to hear from witnesses from the Department of Agriculture and CFIA. Following this, Randy Hoback moved to suspend the debate on this motion until the in camera portion of the committee meeting.

Once in camera, the committee agreed that amendments to Bill S-11 would have to be submitted to the clerk no later than Monday, November 5th 2012, and that a clause-by-clause consideration of the bill occur on Thursday, November 8th. The Chair of the committee will then report the bill back to the House of Commons by the same date. The committee’s decision can be found here.