Part 6 – Division 18
Overview: Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act
The proposed amendment to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act creates an exemption from the application of the User Fees Act for user fees introduced or amended for services provided pursuant to the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA).
The User Fees Act outlines a process for revising fees that is estimated to take 18-24 months, or longer if an independent advisory panel is required, or if Parliament is not sitting when the user fee proposal is ready to be tabled. Such a delay could jeopardize the ability of the Government to meet the anticipated timelines to bring the SFCA into force. An exemption could potentially reduce the timeline to implement a new user fee, by removing the obligation for an independent advisory panel (if requested by stakeholders) as well as the requirement to table proposals for twenty sitting days in both Houses of Parliament. The exemption does not limit stakeholder engagement, because under the CFIA Act, the Minister is required to consult on issues of interest to stakeholders, and the establishment of the CFIA's Complaints and Appeals Office in 2011 gives stakeholders an avenue to pursue complaints or appeals over regulatory decisions, including user fees.
An exemptionspecifically targeted to fees associated with regulations under SFCA will help achieve the timely introduction of stronger food safety rules and increased protection for Canadians. The SFCA is a cornerstone of the CFIA's transformation agenda, and will introduce stronger food safety rules to better protect Canadians, a high priority for the Government. In order to advance the SFCA and its regulations by 2015, related user fees must also be in place.