Amendments to the Canada Grain Act

The NFU welcomes the opportunity to comment on the amendments to the Canada Grain Act flowing from the elimination of inward inspection by the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), the end of mandatory weigh overs at primary and terminal elevators, and the end of Grain Appeals Tribunal as well as other changes.

In general the NFU has expressed its opposition to these changes for a long time, and that is undiminished. In our opinion there was incredible value to the grain system, as well as producers, when the CGC conducted inward inspection and grading. CGC inspectors operated as independent graders mandated, as is the entire CGC, to act in the interests of the grain producers. Inward inspection acted as a continuous audit of grain coming into terminal position and checked the accuracy of what was shipped from the primary elevators as well as catching any problem with grain on arrival at the terminal. It has been an important part of Canada’s grain quality assurance system as well. The provision of inward inspection by private service providers or by the grain companies themselves discounts and eliminates the producer interest mandate. Private service providers would see as their clients the grain companies rather than farmers. Slowly farmers will see their interests eliminated from the system as a consequence.

The elimination of weigh-overs is also a fundamental loss for grain producers, as again, the check it provided to determine if the grain companies weights and dockage were accurate fully translated into fair compensation for grain producers for their actual deliveries. This check in the system forced grain companies to accurately weigh deliveries, as excess overages that would occur from inaccurate measures would eventually be detected and corrected. This is no longer the case and farmers are likely to fall victim to the abuses they experienced in the past when grain companies faced no checks on their power.

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