Dear Concerned Parties,

(March 7, 2012) The Harper Government is proposing the elimination of mandatory requirements for inward inspection and weighing at licensed terminal and transfer elevators.  The Canadian Grain Commission issued a letter to external industry stakeholders on Tuesday February 8, 2012, requesting feedback regarding the proposed changes.

How this will affect producers:

Grain shipped by hard working Canadian farmers to terminal and transfer elevators will no longer be officially inspected and weighed. The results of this change will jeopardize the protection for producers from the lucrative, often undependable railways or the profitable, multi-national grain companies.  Prior to unload, there will no longer be unbiased Government inspections to carriers, which assist the producers in any claim against the railways.  During unload, there will no longer be the monitoring of terminal and transfer elevator operating practices by highly trained professionals.  The grade and weights used for payment will instead be issued by the companies themselves.  Further, there will be no mechanism in place to resolve any disputes regarding weight and grade (Dispute Resolution and Grain Appeal), should the producer disagree with the terminal or transfer elevator’s decision.

How this will affect Consumers:

The Canadian public is being put at risk by a decision that ultimately affects the finished food product.  Without regulated handling, we are seriously concerned about the undetected presence of toxins and foreign material in grain.  The changes that the Canadian Government is proposing will protect and regulate export shipments, while neglecting to do the same for the Canadian market.

The Canadian Grain Act was enacted due to farmers lobbying the Canadian Government for legislation that would help protect them against unfair practices.  The Act streamlined existing legislation and regulations about grain and grain handling to achieve this. As well, the Board of Grain Commissioners (as the Canadian Grain Commission was then called) was created with a mandate to work in the interest of farmers.  Since 1912, the Canadian Grain Commission has helped farmers and grain dealers work together by offering a neutral perspective.

Please be aware of the negative effects of these proposed changes for Canadian producers.  Please speak up in response to these changes.  The Canadian Grain Act came into effect due to Canadian farmers lobbying for protection; we need that same vigour now.

We need you to speak up!


Jenn Kovacs, Agriculture Local 30 President Thunder Bay, ON

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