The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is proposing to reduce service fees collected for four official grain inspection and official grain weighing services, as of August 1, 2021, the start of the next crop year.
A spokesperson for the Commission says sustained growth of export volumes over the last few years means it can reduce fees while still maintaining its operating budget.
The reduction would also mean the CGC would stop amassing a surplus and move towards its goal of cost recovery only, says the spokesperson.
The proposed changes would result in a combined reduction for official inspection and weighing services fees from $1.48 to $1.05 per tonne for ships, and a cost decrease of $37.88 per official inspection and weighing services for a railway car, truck, or container. The proposed reduction comes two years before the end of the current fee review cycle.
“We have been calling for more transparency in the system, and are happy the Commission has responded to those requests,” says Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. “This is good news for Saskatchewan producers and all producers across Canada.”
For fiscal year 2021-22, fees paid by grain sector stakeholders would be reduced by approximately $13.79 million, a cost decrease of 19 per cent, the CGC says. Savings for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 fiscal years are expected to be approximately $20.68 million each year, a cost decrease of 29 per cent.
“We are lowering service fees early in response to the growth in grain export volumes. Reducing these fees will ensure that millions of dollars remain in the grain sector to the benefit of the entire value chain over the next three years,” says Doug Chorney, chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission.
The proposed changes require amendment to the Canada Grain Regulations. They will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I for public comment on May 22, 2021 and stakeholders have until June 7, 2021, to provide feedback.
APAS is encouraging all its members to submit comments in favour of the change.
The CGC’s mandate and structure are currently under consideration as part of the federal government’s Canada Grain Act review. Consultations for the review wrapped up at the end of April.