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Temporary Ministerial Exemption process to allow inter-provincial trade of meat and poultry products from establishments that are not federally licenced


CFIA has put in place a temporary Ministerial Exemption (ME) process that will permit interprovincial movement of meat and poultry products from establishments that are not federally licensed if such trade becomes necessary to alleviate meat shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To enable inter-provincial movement of provincially-inspected meat and poultry products, an ME could be issued to exempt food businesses from certain requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) which prohibits the sending or conveying from one province to another of a food commodity that does not meet the requirements of the regulations.

The Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) as well as other relevant federal, provincial and territorial laws related to meat products would continue to apply, despite a Ministerial Exemption being granted. Food labels must be truthful and not misleading and the information should continue to be provided in both official languages.

To initiate the ME process, food businesses experiencing a shortage are asked to reach out to their Provincial or Territorial Authority to inform them of the food shortage, determine if the situation requires the issuance of an ME by the CFIA, and obtain all information about the application process.

Contact information for Ministerial Exemption applications
Provincial or Territorial Jurisdiction Contact Title Email
British Columbia Gavin Last Executive Director, Food Safety and Inspection
Alberta Wanda Aubee Executive Director, Food Safety Branch
Saskatchewan Chris Smith Food Safety Specialist, Livestock Branch
Manitoba Ketie Sandhu Director of Food Safety & Inspection
Ontario Vanessa Taylor Food Safety and Traceability Advisor
Ontario Pierre Adrien For French inquires
Quebec Sébastien Cloutier Coordonnateur des relations FPT en salubrité des aliments
New Brunswick Roxane Plaisance Project Executive
Nova Scotia Marion MacAulay A/Executive Director, Agriculture and Food Operations
Prince Edward Island Dwight Thompson Legislative & Program Specialist
Newfoundland and Labrador Leona Raymond Food Safety Technician
Northwest Territories Joel Holder Director, Economic Diversification Industry, Tourism and Investment
Nunavut Zoya Martin Director, Fisheries and Sealing
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