Terms of reference for the Canadian Plant Health Council
The Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada (the Strategy) was collaboratively developed by partners including governments, industry, academia and others who play a role in plant and animal health and received endorsement by FPT Ministers of Agriculture during their 2017 annual conference. Since then, plant health partners have been preparing for implementation. The key first step is establishing separate implementation coordinating councils to lead implementation, as outlined in the Strategy, focused on plant and animal health, respectively.
To that end, the federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Regulatory Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Committee tasked their officials to create a small multi-partner plant health task team to develop recommendations on the structure and function of the proposed plant health council. Saskatchewan's Regulatory and Innovation ADM, William Greuel, has served as the ADM champion of plant health and provided guidance and direction to the task team throughout their deliberations.
FPT government, industry and academic representatives were selected with the view to provide the widest range of plant health perspectives. The multi-partner task team worked collaboratively over several months to identify and assess options and deliver the Terms of Reference for the Canadian Plant Health Council to operate within.
Understanding that all plant health partners want to take action as soon as possible to improve integration of our collective efforts across the country, the Council will evaluate its operating parameters, prioritize two to three activities to deliver over a two year period, and revise this Terms of Reference to reflect the future needs of the Council.
The Canadian Plant Health Council will be focused on plant aspects of the Strategy. This includes plant pests (e.g., weeds, insects, pathogens), inputs to the plant health sector (e.g., seed, fertilizer) and pathways on the ability of pests (endemic or emerging) to establish and spread.
The sectors involved in various plant health implementation activities would include:
- agriculture (crops, horticulture, nurseries)
- forestry (managed and unmanaged forest populations)
- technologies used for pest and disease control
- services (transporters, custom applicators, agronomists/crop advisors, researchers) provided to primary producers that have a farm level impact
- apiculture, in coordination with animal health partners implementing the Strategy
As a partnership-based council comprised of FPT governments, industry and academia, the council's mandate is to:
- Prioritize plant health-related activities to deliver on the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada (the Strategy);
- Deliver identified priorities by leveraging the efforts of FPT governments, industry, academia and, as needed, other stakeholders or organizations;
- Work with existing bodies wherever it is feasible and efficient to do so;
- Facilitate and/or enable cooperation across government departments, governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders; and
- Adjust the Strategy when required to reflect emerging needs.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Provide leadership and strategic direction in coordinating and prioritizing plant health activities outlined in the Plant and Animal Health Strategy for Canada
- Offer sound advice based on collective experience and knowledge and be able to look beyond their own specific issues to make broader linkages across the whole plant health sector spectrum
- Contribute to the development of a work plan and assist in presenting the work plan to the FPT Regulatory ADM committee and any other committee as required
- Contribute to an open exchange of views, discussions within meetings
- Fully engage in the work of the Canadian Plant Health Council through active and robust participation in discussions and follow up
- Consult with, and communicate progress ("brief up") to parent organizations and ministries/departments
- Engage across related associations/organizations and ministries/departments as required to share information and solicit input
- Promote and disseminate the Council's messages and outcomes as appropriate
- Build collaborative and consistent relationships between governments, industry, academia and other stakeholders
The Council will be chaired by two members, taken from academia, one provincial agriculture ministry or one national plant health industry association and be responsible to:
- Chair the meetings of the Council
- Exercise leadership to facilitate the work of the Canadian Plant Health Council
- Engage the FPT ADM plant health champion on progress, seek feedback, clarification or guidance
- Assure the coordination and deliverables of the work plan
- Assure action items are tracked for each meeting including a meeting participants list
- Represent the Council when required to update FPT Regulatory ADMs
FPT ADM Champion
- Provide strategic advice, leadership and direction to the Council
- Engage with other ADMs to mobilize support for the work carried out by the Council
- Engage the FPT Regulatory ADM Committee on issues requiring direction and feedback within the scope of its mandate
- Report regularly to the FPT Regulatory ADMs' Committee on progress of work
- Attend Council meetings when appropriate or as requested by the Co-chairs
Business of the Council
- Evaluate the Council's operating parameters and revise the Terms of Reference.
- Prioritize and deliver up to three plant health-related activities outlined in the Strategy that could be completed or well developed within a two year timeframe.
- The Council will provide updates to plant health stakeholders including the FPT Regulatory ADM Committee and its ADM Champion of Plant Health.
The Council will consist of 11 members, enabling it to be nimble and lean while having sufficiently broad representation from the following partners:
Four (4) national industry associations
- One representative from the horticulture or ornamental sector
- One representative from the forestry or nursery sector
- One representative from the grains, oilseeds, pulses or special crops sector
- One representative from the plant health inputs sector
Three (3) provincial agriculture ministries
- One representative from each province
Three (3) federal departments
- One representative from each of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
One (1) member of the Deans Council, Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Medicine
Please see Appendix 1 for a current membership list.
Selection of Members
- Each partner will determine its own process for appointing members to the Council. The process employed by each partner will be transparent and inclusive
- Initial members will serve on the Council for at least the first two years in order to maintain continuity
- In the event that a member is unable to complete his or her term, the alternate will serve in the member's place, until such time as a suitable replacement is found
- The member's alternate is her/his empowered delegate or official
- Empowered delegates are permitted to attend when replacing the member and must do so with full authority, in both decision and recommendation. The alternate's presence is to be factored into quorum
Observers and Presenters
- Subject matter experts may be invited to participate in Council discussions by the co-chairs as appropriate
- Presence of observers and presenters does not factor into quorum
Meetings and Procedures of the Council
- One of the co-chairs must be in attendance to lead a Council meeting
- In the absence of both co-chairs, the Council meeting shall be postponed
For the Council meeting to proceed, the Council has to meet quorum. Quorum is reached when 7 members or their alternates are represented, with a minimum of one representative from each of the national industry associations, the federal, provincial and territorial governments.
- The Council will meet at least once a month unless otherwise determined from time to time
- Special meetings or ad hoc meetings may be convened at the request of the co-chairs
Working groups may be created by the Council to address specific areas of work. When establishing these working groups, terms of reference and timelines for completion of work will be developed. To assure appropriate expertise, range of perspectives and knowledge is available, additional partners and stakeholders may be included.
Secretariat support will be provided jointly by federal and provincial governments from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture during the time that the province serves as ADM champion of plant health. The Secretariat will be responsible for:
- Assuring Council meetings run efficiently and smoothly, including timely distribution of materials and maintenance of membership lists
- Scheduling of meetings (teleconference or web-ex) and tracking action items to assure they are completed in a timely manner
- Supporting Co-chairs in agenda development (all members may suggest agenda items) and other documents as agreed to by the Council
- Circulation of meeting materials and resulting action items
- Providing members with communications (invitations to meetings, progress reports, agendas, and action items) in both official languages (if applicable)
Resources for the Council will be "in-kind" from participating members and partners
- The terms of reference come into effect for two years as of October 5, 2018
Appendix 1: Membership of the Canadian Plant Health Council
Annette Anderson, Director, Agricultural Development, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
William Anderson, Executive Director, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Chief Plant Health Officer of Canada
Ian Affleck, Vice-President, Plant Biotechnology, CropLife
Miles Beaudin, Director, Primary Agriculture, Manitoba Agriculture
Fouad Daayf, Professor of Plant Pathology, Head of the Department of Plant Science, University of Manitoba
Nathalie Durand, Executive Director, Crops and Horticulture Division, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
David Feindel, Director, Plant and Bee Health Surveillance Section, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry
Barry Ford, General Manager, Canada Wood
Anthony Hopkin, Director, Entomology and Phytosanitary Research, Pacific Forestry Centre, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Rebecca Lee, Executive Director, Canadian Horticultural Council
Krista Thomas, Director of Plant Innovation, Canada Grains Council
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