2016-2017 Departmental Results Report
I invite you to read the 2016-17 Departmental Results Report for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). In it, you will find the many ways that the CFIA works to protect Canadians through safeguarding the food supply and the plant and animal resources on which it depends.
Government and industry collaboration in support of food safety continued in 2016-17. In January 2017, a key milestone on the path to enhanced food safety protection and controls in Canada was achieved with the pre-publication of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part I. The CFIA consulted thousands of Canadians in-person and virtually during multiple webinars, information sessions and other meetings, resulting in over 1,300 submissions. The Agency is currently reviewing all of the feedback that was received and final publication of the regulations is anticipated in the spring of 2018.
Regarding animal health, collaboration continued with the ongoing implementation of the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System. The system, made up of a nationwide network of groups and individuals, supports animal health surveillance in Canada by drawing on the disease detection abilities of Canadian veterinarians, provincial and university laboratories and the federal government. In 2016-17, the CFIA also proposed changes to the Health of Animals Regulations via pre-publication in Canada Gazette, Part I that would help improve animal welfare and reduce the risk of animal suffering during transport.
In 2016-17, the CFIA continued to make strides in plant protection with amendments to the Weed Seeds Order. The amendments, published in May 2016 in Canada Gazette, Part II, will help reduce the number of weed species introduced in Canada through seed. In July 2016, federal, provincial and territorial Ministers of Agriculture endorsed the emergency management framework for agriculture. The Framework represents a commitment to collectively prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from agriculture emergencies. In 2016-17, discussions on the future of plant and animal health in Canada began, as governments, industry, academia and stakeholders started to develop the plant and animal health strategy, a key deliverable of the 2016 emergency management framework for agriculture. The strategy focuses on collaboration, innovation and risk prevention in support of plant and animal health.
In support of consumer protection, the CFIA has continued to execute its "digital-by-default" approach to communications. This gives Canadians easy access to important information, such as food recalls, when and where they want, and enables the Agency to use innovative tools like infographics and videos to reach Canadians. With its digital first efforts, including the launch of a YouTube channel, the CFIA's social media audience grew by 42% in 2016-17.
The CFIA continued to support market access. The Agency's work with domestic and international partners supports billions of dollars in trade for the Canadian economy and advances Canada's food safety, animal health and plant health objectives. For example, market access was expanded to Mexico for beef from animals over 30 months of age, maintained for canola to China, gained for breeding cattle to Turkey and restored or maintained for various commodities in multiple countries. In May 2016, Canada and the United States signed a Canada-United States Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement and are working toward its implementation. Recognizing another country's food safety controls as comparable to our own aids the flow of goods between the two countries and allows us to focus on commodities from other countries that may not have the same controls as we do.
This report outlines the CFIA's many achievements, none of which would be possible without the hard work and dedication of Agency employees. It is the skill, integrity and professionalism that they bring to their roles each and every day that enable the CFIA to fulfill its vital mandate to Canadians. I am confident that their dedication to service excellence will enable the Agency to continue to meet its goals and maintain its reputation as an internationally recognized science based regulator.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, PC, MP
Minister of Health
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