The federal government is launching consultations on the long-awaited review of the Canada Grain Act.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau made the announcement as part of her speech kicking off the virtual CropSphere conference hosted by Saskatchewan crop commissions on Tuesday (January 12).

“The Canada Grain Act has not had major updates in almost half a century. Over that time, the marketplace for grain has continued to evolve. And that impacts how grain is bought, sold, delivered, and handled,” said Bibeau. “That is why today I am launching consultations as part of our review of the Canada Grain Act.”

The minister said consultations will be held online until April 30. Producers and other stakeholders can find more info and submit their comments here.

The federal agriculture department launched this latest review of the Canada Grain Act in March 2019. A paper summarizing the consultations with the grain sector was supposed to be published in March 2020, but it was delayed by COVID-19.

The act and the role of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) in administering it have been under review multiple times over the past decade. There have also been several attempts to update the legislation, including Bill C-48, which was tabled by the Conservative government in late 2014, but died on the Order Table when the 2015 election was called.

Grain companies have been pushing to make outward inspection of grain shipments by the CGC optional, preferring to hire private inspectors. Producer payment security is an issue that could see changes through any new legislation. The review could also result in changes being proposed to the role and structure of the CGC itself.

Related: Grading changes and waiting on a timeline for the Grains Act review

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