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Ministerial Exemption process to allow inter-provincial trade of food from establishments that are not federally licensed


CFIA has developed a Ministerial Exemption (ME) process to permit interprovincial movement of food from establishments that are not federally licensed if such trade becomes necessary to alleviate food shortages.

To enable inter-provincial movement of provincially-inspected food, 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 food 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.

Non-meat products

Providing food cannot be sourced from SFC licence holders or provincial/territorial food businesses within the province/territory, and it has been determined that interprovincial trade is necessary to alleviate the food shortage of non-meat products, please send an email at: natasha.richard@inspection.gc.ca to obtain further details.

Meat products

To initiate the ME process, food businesses experiencing a shortage of meat products 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 meat product Ministerial Exemption applications
Provincial or Territorial Jurisdiction Contact Title Email
British Columbia Gavin Last Executive Director, Food Safety and Inspection bcmeatinspection@gov.bc.ca
Alberta Leah Sheffield Executive Director, Food Safety Branch Leah.Sheffield@gov.ab.ca
Saskatchewan Chris Smith Food Safety Specialist, Livestock Branch chris.smith@gov.sk.ca
Manitoba Ketie Sandhu Director of Food Safety & Inspection Ketie.sandhu@gov.mb.ca
Ontario Raquel Roy Program Specialist raquel.roy@ontario.ca
Quebec Sébastien Cloutier Coordonnateur des relations FPT en salubrité des aliments PEM@mapaq.gouv.qc.ca
New Brunswick Roxane Plaisance Project Executive Roxane.Plaisance@gnb.ca
Nova Scotia Marion MacAulay A/Executive Director, Agriculture and Food Operations Marion.MacAulay@novascotia.ca
Prince Edward Island Dwight Thompson Legislative & Program Specialist dkthompson@gov.pe.ca
Newfoundland and Labrador Leona Raymond Food Safety Technician leonaraymond@gov.nl.ca
Northwest Territories Joel Holder Director, Economic Diversification Industry, Tourism and Investment Joel_Holder@gov.nt.ca
Nunavut Zoya Martin Director, Fisheries and Sealing zmartin@gov.nu.ca