Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture


Regina , SK., November 25, 2005 – At a meeting today in Regina, federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture agreed on the importance of addressing a number of challenges and opportunities facing producers, while laying the groundwork for a healthier and more profitable agriculture and agri-food sector in the long term. They agreed these objectives will be achieved through stronger innovation, sustainable competitive advantage, and better access to global markets.

Ministers were united in their commitment to the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. Canada will have a substantial presence, including federal and provincial ministers, at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference taking place December 13-18 to strongly press Canada’s position in these important trade talks. Ministers will continue to push for greater market access, address trade issues, and seek to level the international playing field so that Canada’s producers and processors can compete fairly and equitably in global markets. They strongly confirmed their support for the right of producers to choose to use orderly marketing systems.

Ministers will continue to build on the five pillars of the Agricultural Policy Framework: Business Risk Management, Science and Innovation, Food Safety and Quality, Environment and Renewal. They called for substantive engagement by all partners to prepare a transformative agenda that will ensure a profitable future for the sector. They identified pressing issues driving this change agenda, including greater global competition, the potential for new trade rules to bring opportunities for improved market access, and domestic issues of program sustainability and affordability.

Ministers agreed on the benefits of improving the Canadian Agriculture Income Stabilization (CAIS) and Production Insurance programs, and committed to work towards securing the necessary changes in these programs. Ministers confirmed several changes to make these important programs more responsive to the needs of producers:

  • The CAIS deposit will be eliminated and replaced with a fee beginning with the 2006 program year.
  • The deposit requirement for the 2003, 2004, and 2005 CAIS program years will be waived (no fee will be charged for these program years either).
  • A CAIS targeted advance will now proactively target assistance to commodities or regions experiencing a farm income disaster .

Ministers are committed to working towards further improvements in CAIS. They will continue to consider such measures as:

  • Forging of new linkages between the CAIS and Production Insurance programs to ensure that these two programs are not competing with one another.
  • A more responsive approach to inventory valuation under the program.
  • Expansion of eligibility of producers for negative margin coverage.

Ministers agreed to continue discussions and work towards a National Agriculture and Food Traceability System beginning with livestock and poultry. This will build on the significant work already done in this area by provinces, such as Quebec and Alberta, and industry. The system will ultimately help to enhance industry’s capacity to seize market and business opportunities and to plan for and manage crises.

Participants were briefed on the significant measures being taken to ensure Canada is prepared to deal with an avian influenza (AI) outbreak, should one occur. They engaged in a significant discussion dedicated to preparations, by all levels of Government and industry, for the containment and eradication of any foreign animal disease outbreak in Canadian poultry and livestock.

The next annual conference is being held in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, June 26-29, 2006.

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