Vol. 148, No. 27 — December 31, 2014
SOR/2014-296 December 11, 2014
AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD ADMINISTRATIVE MONETARY PENALTIES ACT
Regulations Amending the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations
The Minister of Health, pursuant to subsection 4(1) of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (see footnote a), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations.
Ottawa, December 9, 2014
Minister of Health
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD ADMINISTRATIVE MONETARY PENALTIES REGULATIONS
1. Section 2 of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:
2. The contravention of a provision of the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act or the Meat Inspection Act or of a regulation made under any of those Acts, or the contravention of an order — or class of orders — made by the Minister under the Plant Protection Act, or the refusal or neglect to perform any specified duty — or class of duties — imposed by or under the Health of Animals Act or the Plant Protection Act that is set out in an item, column 1 of Schedule 1, is a violation that may be proceeded with in accordance with the Act.
COMING INTO FORCE
2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Issues and objectives
When the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (AMPs Act) was originally passed in 1995, administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) were only issued for violations of three statutes (the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act and the Pest Control Products Act). In July 2014, the AMPs regime was expanded to the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, by SOR/2014-173.
This amendment corrects an oversight in relation to section 2 of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations. In the current version of this provision, a reference to the Meat Inspection Act was omitted upon expanding the AMPs to the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990. If this omission is not corrected, the AMPs regime will not apply to violations of the Meat Inspection Act or the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.
Description and rationale
The purpose of the AMPs Act is to enhance the enforcement options currently available in respect of seven statutes administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Feeds Act, the Fertilizers Act, the Health of Animals Act, the Meat Inspection Act, the Plant Protection Act, and the Seeds Act) and one statute (the Pest Control Products Act) administered by Health Canada. The AMPs Act establishes an alternative to the existing penal system and supplements current enforcement measures such as prosecution.
Pursuant to the AMPs Act, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (AMPs Regulations) have been implemented to respond to violations of the Health of Animals Act and Regulations, the Plant Protection Act and Regulations, and the Pest Control Products Act and Regulations. The AMPs Regulations currently set out provisions of these three acts and their regulations, the contravention of which may result in the issuance of warnings or monetary penalties which range from $500 to $10,000. In addition, the AMPS Regulations authorize compliance agreements with persons who commit violations whereby administrative monetary penalties can be reduced or cancelled if persons agree to take appropriate steps to ensure future compliance with the law, and these steps include monetary expenditures. There are also appeal mechanisms available to persons to whom notices of violations are issued.
This regulatory amendment corrects the omission of the Meat Inspection Act in section 2 of the AMPs Regulations in order to complete the addition of provisions of the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 to the AMPS regime, thereby enabling the issuance of administrative monetary penalties for violation of these provisions.
The ability to use administrative monetary penalties allows the CFIA to be more strategic and pro-active in its enforcement approach. Currently, when faced with non-compliance in the meat hygiene sector, the CFIA can either suspend or cancel a licence or registration (which prohibits the regulated party from operating), or recommend prosecution. The Public Prosecution Service of Canada decides whether to pursue the case in the courts. With AMPS, the CFIA has full authority to decide when to issue a monetary penalty. CFIA officials can work in conjunction with industry associations to act on specific non-compliance issues. The CFIA can advertise in industry newsletters that it and industry associations are concerned about certain kinds of non-compliance, and that when a violation is found, immediate action will be taken.
The experience of other agencies administering similar schemes shows that this approach is very effective in increasing compliance.
Neither the “One-for-One” Rule nor the small business lens requirements apply to this regulatory amendment.
(1) Status Quo — Not amending the current AMPs Regulations
This option does not enable administrative penalties as an additional compliance and enforcement tool for the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 for CFIA.
(2) Amending the AMPs Regulations (preferred option)
This option will allow the issuance of AMPs violations for the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 and provide greater flexibility in compliance and enforcement tools in the meat hygiene sector.
No consultations were conducted as this administrative amendment solely corrects the omission of the reference to the Meat Inspection Act in section 2 of the AMPs Regulations that occurred in the July 2014 expansion of the AMPs regime to the meat hygiene sector.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this amendment, as there are no associated administrative costs or savings.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to these amendments, as there are no costs to small business.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The regulatory amendment will be communicated to inspectors and investigators.
This amendment does not change any requirements for regulated parties. There will be no adjustments to the current CFIA Compliance and Enforcement Operational Policy. No additional resources will be required.
Dr. Jag Dhanda
Meat Hygiene Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road, Tower 2, Floor 6, Room 223