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Canadian Grain Commission proposes changes to regulations for resolving disputes over grain grading

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 @ 12:51 PM | By Cristin Schmitz

The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is proposing to extend the time frame in which producers can exercise their right to dispute a primary elevator’s grade and dockage assessment of their grain.

On Dec. 13, the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada’s grain quality standards announced it is proposing to update and improve producers’ access to grain grading dispute resolution, commonly known as “Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage.”

Under the agency’s proposal, producers would be able to dispute their grain’s grade and dockage even if they are not present on delivery, as many producers hire truck drivers or commercial hauling services to deliver their grain. Samples would no longer need to be taken in the presence of the producer, unless the producer requires it.

The CGC said the proposed amendments to the Canada Grain Regulations would specify that samples must be retained for a minimum of seven days, or until an agreement on grade and dockage has been reached between the elevator and the producer.

“The changes would add some flexibility for producers and elevators to agree to location and timing on sample retention, while also specifying that samples must be retained for at least seven days (unless otherwise agreed to) to give producers time to consider grading results and trigger dispute resolution,” the CGC said in a press release.

The commission said the proposed changes are a response to feedback it received from producers, producer associations and elevator operators about grain grading dispute resolution during the recent Canada Grain Act review consultations.

“While work continues on the broader response to the Canada Grain Act consultation, the Canadian Grain Commission is moving to address specific feedback on “Subject to” within its existing regulations,” the commission said.

The commission’s consultation is open until midnight on Feb. 28, 2022.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau called the proposed regulatory changes “an important first win for grain farmers, in response to the feedback we received during the Canada Grain Act review consultations.”

“Our government will continue working with the Canadian Grain Commission to modernize the Act to benefit Canadian grain farmers,” she said in the press release.

The CGC said that it is moving quickly to respond to grain-sector feedback and to “make improvements for producers within our current legislation.”

The commission said it is looking forward to engaging with stakeholders across the grain sector to ensure that “Subject to Inspector’s Grade and Dockage” keeps pace with the changing realities of grain handling and delivery in Canada.

The CGC regulates the grain industry to protect grain producers’ rights and to ensure the integrity of grain transactions.

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