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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Agriculture and Forestry

Issue 22 - Minutes of Proceedings - October 4, 2012


OTTAWA, Thursday, October 4, 2012
(45)

[English]

The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry met this day at 8:04 a.m., in room 705, Victoria Building, the chair, the Honourable Percy Mockler, presiding.

Members of the committee present: The Honourable Senators Buth, Eaton, Fortin-Duplessis, Mahovlich, Merchant, Mockler, Nolin, Peterson, Plett, Rivard and Robichaud, P.C. (11).

In attendance: Aïcha Coulibaly and Martha Butler, Analysts, Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament; and Mona Ishack, Communications Officer, Communications Directorate.

Also in attendance: The official reporters of the Senate.

Pursuant to the order of reference adopted by the Senate on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, the committee continued its consideration of Bill S-11, Safe Food for Canadians Act. (For complete text of the order of reference, see proceedings of the committee, Issue No. 20).

WITNESSES:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

Neil Bouwer, Vice-President, Policy and Programs;

Colleen Barnes, Executive Director, Program, Regulatory and Trade Policy.

Department of Justice Canada:

Julie Adair, Legal Counsel, Agriculture and Food Inspection Legal Services.

It was agreed that the committee proceed to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill S-11.

It was agreed that Mr. Bouwer, Ms. Barnes and Ms. Adair be invited to the table and, during the consideration of Bill S-11, they answered questions from time to time.

With leave, it was agreed that the committee be allowed to group clauses by the sections identified in the bill.

It was agreed that the title stand postponed.

It was agreed that clause 1, which contains the short title, stand postponed.

It was agreed that clause 2 carry.

It was agreed that clause 3 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 4 to 19 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 20 to 22 carry.

It was agreed that clause 23 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 24 to 27 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 28 to 31 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 32 to 33 carry.

It was agreed 34 to 37 carry.

It was agreed clause 38 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 39 to 45 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 46 to 47 carry.

It was agreed that clause 48 carry.

It was agreed that clause 49 carry.

It was agreed that clause 50 carry.

The chair asked whether clause 51 shall carry.

The Honourable Senator Plett moved:

That Bill S-11 be amended, on page 21, in clause 51, by replacing line 34 with the following:

``names in respect of any food commodity and''.

After debate, the question being put on the motion in amendment, it was adopted.

It was agreed that clause 51, as amended, carry.

It was agreed that clauses 52 to 55 carry.

It was agreed that clause 56 carry.

It was agreed that clause 57 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 58 to 59 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 60 to 67 carry.

The chair asked whether clause 68 shall carry.

The Honourable Senator Plett moved:

That Bill S-11 be amended, on page 30, in clause 68, by replacing lines 22 to 25 with the following:

``68. (1) Five years after the coming into force of this section, and every five years after that, the Minister must undertake a review of the provisions and operation of this Act, including an assessment of the resources allocated to its administration and enforcement.''.

After debate, the question being put on the motion in amendment, it was adopted, on division.

After debate, it was agreed that clause 68, as amended, carry, on division.

It was agreed that clauses 69 to 75 carry.

It was agreed clauses 76 to 78 carry.

It was agreed, with leave, that clauses 79 to 102 carry.

The chair asked whether clause 103 shall carry.

The Honourable Senator Peterson moved:

That Bill S-11 be amended in clause 103, on page 43, by adding after line 14 the following:

``(2) To assist the Agency in carrying out its responsibilities under subsection (1) in respect of the Safe Food for Canadians Act, the Auditor General of Canada shall, at least once every five years, conduct a resources audit to examine the resources the Agency has and the resources it needs to carry out its food inspection obligations.

(2.1) The Agency may determine the scope of the resources audit, but the resulting report must include

(a) a review of the compliance verification system, including its design and implementation;

(b) an analysis and assessment of the number, capacity and training of inspectors, including how many plants an inspector should be responsible for and the appropriateness of rotation of inspectors;

(c) an analysis and assessment of the financial resources available to inspectors;

(d) an analysis and assessment of the materials, equipment and support services available to inspectors; and

(e) recommendations regarding required changes and implementation strategies.

(2.2) The Agency and its auditor shall provide the Auditor General of Canada with any records, accounts, statements or other information that, in the opinion of the Auditor General of Canada, are necessary to conduct the resources audit.

(2.3) Immediately after the Agency receives a resources audit report, the President must submit a copy of it to the Minister and to the Minister of Health, and the Minister must cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives the report.''.

After debate, the question being put on the motion in amendment, it was negatived on the following vote:

YEAS

The Honourable Senators

Mahovlich, Merchant, Peterson, Robichaud — 4

NAYS

The Honourable Senators

Buth, Eaton, Fortin-Duplessis, Mockler, Nolin, Plett, Rivard — 7

ABSTENTIONS — 0

After debate, it was agreed that clause 103 carry, on division.

It was agreed that clauses 104 to 108 carry.

It was agreed that clauses 109 to 110 carry.

It was agreed that clause 111 carry, on division.

It was agreed that clause 1, which contains the short title, carry, on division.

It was agreed that the title carry, on division.

It was agreed that the bill, as amended, carry, on division.

It was agreed that the chair report the bill, as amended, to the Senate at the earliest opportunity, on division.

At 9:36 a.m., the committee adjourned to the call of the chair.

ATTEST:

Kevin Pittman

Clerk of the Committee