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#DigitalFirst: vlog with Dr. Stephani McLean

A veterinarian with farming and private practice experience explains the benefits doing business online through My CFIA.

#DigitalFirst: vlog with Dr. Stephani McLean – Transcript

Dr. Stephani McLean
Veterinarian, CFIA

My name is Dr. Stephani McLean and I'm an animal health and meat hygiene veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. As a veterinarian for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, I'm able to utilize my extensive farming and private practice experience in my day-to-day work.

Advancements in technology and analytics are reshaping how Canadians access services and programs. With the Government of Canada moving towards a digital-first approach to offering services to the Canadian public and Canadian business sectors, CFIA is playing a part through the implementation of our online service platform, My CFIA.

My CFIA was first launched in January of 2017. It is a secure and convenient online entry point to CFIA services.

The electronic export certification of live bovine to the United States pilot project is the culmination of over five years of work, starting from the development and building of the system, through the point of testing and trialling it. We have been readying our staff through training since October of 2019.

CFIA worked directly with exporters and accredited veterinarians across Manitoba and other parts of Canada, to understand the components of their business that correspond with requesting services from CFIA. Two important outcomes of piloting my CFIA with exporters and accredited veterinarians are aligning our business process with clients' needs as much as possible through the adoption of My CFIA, and ensuring we develop and effectively support our clients with transitioning to My CFIA.

Making export certificates available for request and receipt through My CFIA will significantly improve the convenience of the application and issuance process. Using My CFIA to electronically sign certificates removes the need for a producer or veterinarian to physically travel to a CFIA office for endorsement. So, in essence, all travel time required for this step will be removed. For some exporters, this will contribute to significant benefit in saving time, including a reduction in transport time for live animals, in some instances.

The exporter now has more responsibility for their load and was in charge of starting it and printing it. Furthermore, they were responsible for signing up for My CFIA and ensuring that they had all their documentation in order. Our teams learned and adapted to be able to educate users of all levels of Internet comfort to be able to use My CFIA confidently.

Live bovine exporters to the US will have additional key benefits for doing business in My CFIA, including the ability to immediately determine export requirements, access a draft export certificate very early in the process, add details about certificates online at their convenience, request an amendment online - for example, if shipment changes. They can also upload lab information, they can modify transportation and consignee details prior to certificate issuance, they can request replacement certificates, and they will have greater access to services in both official languages.

In June, we expanded across Manitoba and into other provinces. The expansion is being done slowly and very calculated, as CFIA teams get trained across the respective regions.

We currently have 14 exporters enrolled, and 24 accredited veterinarians. A majority are enrolled in Manitoba, but we are starting to see enrollees across Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. We look forward to working with our colleagues across Canada to help get the rest of industry on board so that they, too, can see the benefits of using electronic export certification of live bovine to the United States. Exporters and accredited veterinarians who are interested can enroll at

This pilot is helping fulfill the Government of Canada's mission towards a digital first approach by giving industry more options on how they do business with CFIA. Not only has there been time and cost savings for industry, especially remote industry, but the safety of physical distancing during a pandemic has been a huge benefit that was not accounted for in this development phase. With this pilot, we will take all its trial, tribulations, and its accomplishments to act as a foundation as we further develop more live animal digital exports through My CFIA platform. Furthermore, the external My CFIA and internal DSDP platform has huge benefits from a data management and traceability standpoint.

I look forward to seeing how the Agency grows. This is just the beginning, and I'm excited to be a part of the journey.

[End of recording]

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