Combined, CCGA and CCC registered over 300 meetings with Members of Parliament, Senators and senior political and departmental staff in the federal lobbyist registry, participated in government consultations, and represented farmers and the canola industry on several government panels, advisory committees and working groups.
Government advocacy and policy development often take months and years and include many moving pieces. Here is a look back on the advocacy priorities and milestones from both organizations for 2022.
CCC launches innovation strategy. After significant engagement with members and other stakeholders, the CCC released an updated Innovation Strategy that provides a value chain vision for innovation on behalf of the industry. Since its release, the CCC has met with government officials to outline the industry’s innovation and research priorities and identify opportunities for government funding to advance these priorities.
China removes restrictions for canola exporters. On behalf of the canola sector, the CCC and CCGA welcomed China’s removal of restrictions on Canadian canola seed exports. Restored access is integral to the competitiveness of canola farmers and the broader industry, and the reinstatement of licenses for Richardson and Viterra was a welcome development.
Health Canada guidance supports seed innovation for canola farmers. Health Canada’s guidance relating to the Novel Food Regulations and plant breeding innovation provides a predictable risk-based approach for new breeding techniques while maintaining food safety and transparency for Canadians. The guidance from Health Canada aligns with Canada’s trading partners and helps to place Canada on a level playing field. Guidance from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is anticipated soon, which is required to complete the establishment of a predictable plant breeding innovation regulatory framework in Canada.
Clean Fuel Regulations published. After five-plus years of development, CCGA and the CCC were pleased to see the final published Clean Fuel Regulations(CFR). The regulations, which come into effect on July 1, 2023, will provide the certainty that all parts of the biofuel supply chain, from farmers to renewable fuel producers, need to prepare for future market opportunities. CCGA and the CCC are currently working with Environment and Climate Change Canada and industry stakeholders to clarify detailed compliance requirements of the Land Use and Biodiversity Criteria, which take effect on January 1, 2024.
Response to fertilizer emissions reduction consultation. The organizations submitted a joint response to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) consultation on the fertilizer emissions reduction target to reduce fertilizer emissions by 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. The submission highlights how canola farmers are leaders in sustainability and urges the government to keep the target voluntary and based on emissions intensity – not absolute emissions reductions. As farmers and industry are focused on increasing production to meet domestic and global demands, government should recognize the importance of fertilizer use to increase yields and profitability while producing high-quality crops. CCGA and the CCC await AAFC’s ‘What We Heard’ report from the consultation.
“Federal advocacy is a core part of our function at the Canola Council of Canada. As a value chain organization, we work to speak with a unified voice to advance the canola industry’s public policy priorities in Ottawa. It’s a full agenda and one that is critical to continued growth and success.”
—Chris Davison, CCC vice president, stakeholder & industry relations
Lobby Day returns. After more than two years of virtual lobbying, canola returned in person to Parliament Hill on November 15 to meet with parliamentarians and senior staff to advocate for Canada’s canola farmers and the canola industry at-large. On the day, CCGA’s advocacy efforts highlighted tools for sustainable growth, including increased transparency and confidence in Canada’s railways, access to crop protection products and fertilizer, and access to working capital. The CCC’s priorities included fertilizer and sustainability, international trade and market access, and a competitive and innovative regulatory environment. The lobby day ended with a co-hosted parliamentary reception.
Canada announces Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office. The Prime Minister announced approximately $32 million over five years for the creation of a new Indo-Pacific Agriculture and Agri-Food Office as part of the federal government’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy. The CCC, along with other industry partners, led the advocacy on this important investment and will continue to work closely with the federal government on its implementation.
“The Ottawa advocacy space has never been busier than the last two years, as agricultural policy continues to be impacted by an increasing number of government departments and voices. CCGA strives to amplify canola farmers’ voices and put forward united policy asks to federal decision-makers to help farmers succeed.”
—Dave Carey, CCGA vice president, government & industry relations
Bill C-234 to extend farm fuel exemption. Bill C-234, An act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, passed committee stage in the House of Commons. Bill C-234 seeks to exempt the on-farm use of natural gas and propane from carbon pricing, for necessary practices like grain drying, freeing up working capital to make investments on farm. CCGA continues to support and encourage Members of Parliament to pass the Bill.
AAFC consults on Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. AAFC launched consultations on a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy with the stated intent of providing and integrated approach to the sector’s environmental performance, building on the successes achieved to date. Both CCC and CCGA have been invited to participate on the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy – Advisory Committee (SAS-AC) which will continue throughout 2023.
CCGA speaks at COP15. CCGA participated in COP15, the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, to advance canola’s sustainability story regarding biodiversity, engage with Government of Canada negotiators and understand the global discourse and next steps.