Sowing the seeds to better service: CFIA commits to fairness and accountability
On February 27th, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) made commitments to improve accountability and service delivery. CFIB is pleased the CFIA has launched a Statement of Rights and Service which outlines producers' rights to:
- Fair treatment
- Quality service
This is a positive first step and we hope the CFIA ensures this culture of change is reflected in their daily interactions with producers and small business owners.
CFIA commits to fairness
Catherine Airth, CFIA’s Chief Redress Officer, Hon. Gerry Ritz, CFIB’s Marilyn Braun-Pollon at the CFIA Complaints and Appeals Office and Statement of Rights and Service announcement
Over the last several years, we have been working collaboratively with the CFIA, pushing for better service as well as fairness, transparency and accountability in the way the Agency interacts with its stakeholders. CFIB's 2007 report card on the CFIA indicated there was significant room for improvement. For example, only one-in-five agri-businesses believed the CFIA provided good overall service.
We also welcome news of a Complaints and Appeals mechanism so that farmers and small business owners can register complaints and appeals on regulatory decisions and service quality. We will be monitoring the effectiveness of this complaints mechanism closely.
During Red Tape Awareness WeekTM, CFIB was pleased Minister Ritz accepted the "One-for-One" recommendation in our Red Tape Reduction Commission report. This requires the removal of at least one regulation each time a new one is introduced that imposes administrative burden on business. The Minister also stated the CFIA is working to streamline regulations, remove duplicate requirements, do away with overlapping obligations and decrease the frequency of document filing.
We hope all of these initiatives result in better working relationships between CFIA and those it regulates, and makes a tangible difference in the day-to-day life of business owners. There is a lot of work to be done, but we look forward to measuring service improvements in future report cards on the CFIA.