Vol. 151, No. 13 — June 28, 2017
SOR/2017-122 June 9, 2017
Regulations Repealing the Fish Health Protection Regulations
P.C. 2017-706 June 9, 2017
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pursuant to section 43 (see footnote a) of the Fisheries Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Repealing the Fish Health Protection Regulations.
Regulations Repealing the Fish Health Protection Regulations
1 The Fish Health Protection Regulations (see footnote 1) are repealed.
2 Paragraph 16(1)(c) of the Manitoba Fishery Regulations, 1987 (see footnote 2) is repealed.
Coming into Force
3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Both Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have been responsible for the management of aquatic animal health in Canada. DFO was mandated to manage disease affecting salmonid fish in Canada through the Fish Health Protection Regulations (FHPR) [salmonid fish include salmon, trout, char, lenok, hushen, inconnu and whitefish species].
On December 31, 2015, CFIA implemented provisions within the Health of Animals Regulations, which also manage diseases affecting salmonid fish. In order to reduce the regulatory burden arising from the implementation of the salmonid protection provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations, DFO ceased to administer and enforce the Fish Health Protection Regulations.
The repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations has completed the transfer of regulatory responsibility for the movement of salmonids to the CFIA, and removed all duplication with respect to the regulation of aquatic animal health.
Aquatic animal diseases are significant threats to wild and cultured aquatic species in Canada, with the potential to cause mortality in fish populations and to create barriers to domestic and international trade.
In order to lower disease risk, the Government of Canada implemented several measures, including the Fish Health Protection Regulations, which were made in 1977 under the Fisheries Act. These Regulations applied solely to salmonid fish and their eggs, and required that anyone who wishes to carry cultured or wild fish from one province to another had to obtain an interprovincial carrying permit. The permit was based on a fish health certificate attesting that the source facility was free of diseases and disease agents as identified in the Regulations.
Despite the use of the Fish Health Protection Regulations, it was found that regulatory and enforcement gaps existed in the regime that had potential implications for both the protection of the Canadian environment and the aquaculture industry. In addition, as a member of the World Trade Organization, Canada had the obligation to implement an aquatic animal health program in accordance with standards established in 1998 by the World Organization for Animal Health (known by its French acronym OIE — Office international des épizooties). In order to comply with these new requirements, in 2005 the Government of Canada announced funding for the establishment of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP), a science-based regulatory program to address aquatic animal diseases designated as reportable or notifiable in Canada. Amendments to regulations under the Fisheries Act and the Health of Animals Act created a regulatory framework to manage health risks to aquatic animals, govern the reporting of diseases, establish movement control programs, and ensure that the health of aquatic animals meet international trade standards.
The provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations related to the foreign movement of aquatic animals entered into force in December 2011, and corresponding amendments to the Fish Health Protection Regulations transferred responsibility for the import of salmonid species into Canada to the CFIA at that time, eliminating the regulatory overlap between DFO’s and CFIA’s responsibility for the importation of salmonids.
The domestic movement portion of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program was implemented in a step-wise manner. Therefore, in order to avoid gaps in Canada’s protection against aquatic animal disease, DFO continued to administer the Fish Health Protection Regulations as a transitional measure to regulate the domestic movement of salmonids, until the CFIA implemented the final phase of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program (the Domestic Movement Control Program) in December 2015.
The Fish Health Protection Regulations have now been repealed in order to complete the transfer of regulatory responsibility for the domestic movement of salmonids to the CFIA, and eliminate the regulatory overlap in salmonid disease management.
The objectives of the repeal are to
- Remove redundant regulations related to interprovincial movement of salmonids;
- Streamline regulatory requirements for industry, as the CFIA’s Domestic Movement Control Program is now in place; and
- Complete the transfer of regulatory responsibility for the domestic movement of salmonids to the CFIA.
The Fish Health Protection Regulations under the Fisheries Act have been repealed in their entirety. Paragraph 16(1)(c) of the Manitoba Fishery Regulations, 1987, which refers to the Fish Health Protection Regulations, has also been repealed.
“One-for-One” Rule (see footnote 3)
The “One-for-One” Rule applies to the repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations. The repeal eliminates the existing regulatory overlap and reduce administrative burden to business. Overall, the repeal of these Regulations constitutes an “OUT.”
The Fish Health Protection Regulations required that aquaculture facilities obtain an interprovincial carrying permit in order to ship cultured or wild fish from one province to another. This permit could be obtained if the facility had a valid fish health certificate attesting that the source facility was free of disease as identified in the Regulations.
The administrative burden to business is reduced by removing the requirement for aquaculture facilities to have valid fish health certificates and interprovincial carrying permits. In order to obtain these certificates/ permits, aquaculture facilities had to complete application forms and escort inspectors through their facilities. In addition, in order to coordinate aquaculture shipments, shipping and receiving facilities were required to engage in multiple communications in order to ensure that applications were completed correctly before submission.
DFO conducted an economic impact assessment based on the average number of aquaculture facilities across Canada that held fish health certificates and interprovincial carrying permits from 2013–2015. This included 52 aquaculture facilities across Canada (British Columbia , Manitoba , Ontario , and the Atlantic region comprising of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador ). DFO consulted both internally with program specialists, and externally with aquaculture facility employees and Fish Health Officials, in order to determine assumptions related to the number of inspections that were required per year, and the amount of time required escorting inspectors and completing application forms. Based on the information obtained, it was determined that the Canadian-wide annualized average decrease in administrative costs to be $4,466. This represents an annualized average of $86 per aquaculture facility.
Small business lens (see footnote 4)
The small business lens does not apply to this repeal, as there are no costs to small business in relation to the repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations.
Stakeholders were engaged by DFO in 2010 as part of the implementation of the National Aquatic Health Program. Sixty-seven aquaculture facilities across Canada were advised of impending changes to the Program and notified that the regulatory authority for the domestic movement of salmonids would be transferred to the CFIA. The Department did not receive any responses from the aquaculture facilities indicating significant concerns.
In order to solidify and refresh previous consultations with stakeholders on this matter, DFO engaged key stakeholders in late 2015, informing them of the regulatory overlap resulting from the implementation of the Domestic Movement Control Program (DMCP). The following stakeholders were contacted:
- Facilities with FHPR certificates issued prior to DMCP implementation (December 15, 2015);
- Provinces and territories via the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) Strategic Management Committee (SMC) [December 21, 2015];
- Fish health officials and local fish health officers (December 22, 2015);
- Introduction and transfer committees (December 22, 2015);
- Aquaculture industry associations via the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), a national industry association representing Canadian aquaculture operators, feed companies and suppliers, as well as provincial finfish and shellfish aquaculture associations. (December 21, 2015); and
- Laboratories (December 14, 2015).
As part of this process, the stakeholders were informed of DFO’s interim cessation of Fish Health Protection Regulations administration (this included ceasing the issuance of any new FHPR certificates, and CFIA’s acceptance of valid fish health certificates until their expiration dates) and DFO’s intent to propose the repeal of the FHPR. In addition, individuals were invited to submit comments and questions.
DFO received one response from the Province of Quebec, expressing the views of the two subject matter ministries: Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MFFP). The letter was supportive of the regulatory proposal in general but outlined some concerns related to the Domestic Movement Control Program. In particular, the Province indicated concerns related to the implementation of the National Aquatic Health Program and its impact on aquaculture practitioners. DFO followed up with the Province emphasizing that DFO and CFIA would continue to work closely together to minimize these impacts and outlining measures in the transition plan designed to facilitate the program change, including that CFIA would accept valid fish health certificates that had been issued by DFO. The province of Quebec did not reply with further concerns.
Building upon these results, on January 8, 2016, DFO sent letters to the five recognized national Aboriginal organizations (NAOs): Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Congress of Aboriginal People (CAP), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Métis National Council (MNC), and Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), informing them regarding the regulatory overlap resulting from the implementation of the Domestic Movement Control Program, DFO’s intent to propose the repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations, and inviting comments and questions. One reply was received from the AFN, which was supportive of the proposal in general but asked for further discussion of the matter of the Domestic Movement Control Program. DFO followed up on this matter, offering to continue discussions on issues of concern. AFN has not replied to indicate any further concerns.
The CFIA undertook consultations between 2007 and 2014 in relation to the amendments to the Health of Animals Act and Health of Animals Regulations, and the consequential repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations that would follow.
In 2007-2008, the CFIA held meetings to discuss the impact of the proposed amendments to the Health of Animals Act and Health of Animals Regulations to be implemented through the National Aquatic Animal Health Program with federal and provincial government staff, industry and other stakeholders. Additional meetings were held with processing groups in Atlantic Canada and National organizations, including the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, the Fisheries Council of Canada and the National Seafood Sector Council. Discussions were held with several Aboriginal groups, including a presentation to the Assembly of First Nations.
In total, more than 225 individuals and organizations participated in the Canada Gazette, Part I, pre-consultation process. The consensus of opinion was that this amendment, along with the concurrent amendment to the Reportable Diseases Regulations, was acceptable and necessary to ensure the continued health and sustainability of aquatic animals in Canada. No concerns specific to the potential repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations were received during the consultations, and broader program issues were addressed by the CFIA in the process of finalizing the regulatory amendments, which were registered in December 2010.
From 2006 to 2009, the CFIA consulted with national associations representing Aboriginal groups on possible impacts arising from the regulatory amendment (further information can be found in the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement [RIAS] concerning the Regulations Amending the Health of Animals Regulations: http://gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2010/2010-12-22/pdf/g2-14426.pdf). These groups indicated that they were supportive of CFIA’s efforts to improve the regulatory controls due to their concerns with the impact of disease, particularly on wild stocks. Aboriginal groups wished to better understand the requirements with respect to mandatory reporting of listed diseases. The CFIA undertook further consultations with Aboriginal groups specifically on the Domestic Movement Control Program from 2012 to 2014.
Consultations included a direct mail-out of information about the National Aquatic Animal Health Program which was completed in the summer of 2012. These packages were mailed out to approximately 550 Aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada representing First Nations, Métis, Inuit and Non-Status Aboriginal peoples.
In addition, in the spring of 2013, Aboriginal communities and organizations were sent a questionnaire soliciting input on the potential impacts of this program on treaty rights. This consultation package elicited a 10% response rate, which included answers to CFIA questions as well as requests for additional information. The CFIA addressed the requests in writing or by telephone calls. In addition, six regional face-to-face meetings were held across the country (Truro, Québec City, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and two meetings in Vancouver) with a total of 41 participants representing Aboriginal communities and organizations. Following each face-to-face meeting, summary documents were prepared and sent to participants to ensure that they accurately reflected the discussions that took place.
This consultation process did not reveal any impacts of the Domestic Movement Control Program on the established or potential Aboriginal or treaty rights that would require specific accommodation steps by the CFIA.
The repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations removes the regulatory redundancy caused by the implementation of the Health of Animals Regulations. Their repeal provides a more streamlined process for the interprovincial movement of salmonids and completes the transfer of regulatory responsibility to the CFIA. As the CFIA is currently administering the domestic movement provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations related to salmonid fish species, the repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations is deemed to be low risk without any significant impact on stakeholders.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The repeal of the Fish Health Protection Regulations does not bring additional implementation actions as the CFIA implemented the domestic provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations on December 31, 2015. In order to ensure a seamless transition between regulatory authorities, DFO continues to provide services related to the National Aquatic Animal Health Program by providing laboratory services, conducting research, and providing scientific advice to the CFIA.
Senior Science Advisor
Strategic and Regulatory Science Directorate
S.C. 2012, c. 19, s. 149
R.S., c. F-14
C.R.C., c. 812
The “One-for-One” Rule, which came into effect on April 1, 2012, places strict controls on the growth of regulatory red tape on business. Under the “One-for-One” Rule, for every new regulation added that imposes an administrative burden on business, one must be removed. More details could be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/priorities-priorites/rtrap-parfa/ofo-upu-eng.asp.
The objective of the small business lens is to reduce regulatory costs to small businesses without compromising the health, safety, security and environment of Canadians. More details about the small business lens could be found at http:// www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hgw-cgf/priorities-priorites/rtrap-parfa/sbl-lpe-eng.asp.