Executive Director's Message Main Image

The past 10 months have focused heavily on the COVID-19 virus and its impact on the Canadian and global economies. What you may not be aware of are the numerous federal regulations that have been updated or in the process of being updated that directly impact the business of Canadian agriculture.

The Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) aims to reduce yearly greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes. CFS includes all fossil fuels with separate requirements for liquid, gaseous, and solid fuels with fertilizer production falling under the gaseous fuel stream. The fertilizer industry is one of Canada’s most energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries within a highly sensitive global pricing market.

These costs could potentially burden the internal and external export markets, further impacting Canadian farmers and international sales markets. CFS currently does not exempt fertilizer production nor carbon sequestration activities of farmers through crop production (4R and others). There are future plans to discuss these regulations. For mid-2021, CFS proposed regulations for gaseous and solid fuel classes, as published in Canada Gazette, Part I, followed by consultations on the proposal with a final regulation planned for 2022, to be enforced beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

Canadian Fertilizers Regulations Amendments were approved in Parliament on Oct. 22, 2020, and posted to the Canada Gazette, Part II, Nov. 11, 2020. I commend Fertilizer Canada, CFIA and other industry partners for staying the course after eight years in development and regulation reform and not delaying due to COVID-19. Without going into intimate detail, the regulation update provides many positive, burden-lessening examples such as Transition of ‘Schedule II’ to a 'List of Materials’ incorporated by reference, aligning oversight with risk profiles, streamlining and extending the registration process. Canadian manufacturers, distributors, retails and farmers will feel the impact of these regulations, including relief from regulatory cost burdens affecting both current and future products.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG Regulations) were updated by Transport Canada, namely regulations CSA B620:20, CSA B622:20, TC 51 and CSA B620:20 in association to high-pressure vessels. These vessels impact the agriculture industry’s access to ammonia and propane highway tanks and TC portable tanks. General changes relating to CSA B620:20 include updates to the ASME code (referencing the latest edition), new pressure gauge selection and calibration requirements for pressure and leak tests, clarified thickness testing requirements, revised pressure testing requirements, revised inspection and test reporting requirements, revised tank securement requirements for all tanks, updated tank inspector and tank tester training and qualification requirements and new training organization and registration for the qualification of tank inspectors and tank testers. Updates to regulation CSA B620:20, including the other TDG Regulations mentioned above, come into effect when published with a mandatory compliance six months after publication.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) proposed an integrated management approach to plastic products to prevent waste and pollution. In late fall 2020, ECCC began stakeholder engagement webinars with the objective to create a more resource-efficient and lifecycle approach to plastics stewardship, on land and sea. Agriculture is not part of the current public consultations. Canadian agriculture plastic packaging recovery began 30 years ago and continues to evolve and expand thanks to industry foresight and leadership of Cleanfarms. Current and pending initiatives include seed, inoculant and grain bags, pesticide and fertilizer jugs, drums and totes, and finally, bale wrap and poly twine. The initiatives are commendable thanks to the support of ag retailers and farmers. There remain significant opportunities to advance agriculture plastics lifecycle management.

Many ag industry organizations have dedicated significant time and effort, including CAAR, to ensure the business of Canadian agriculture remains viable and competitive. CAAR will continue to monitor, participate, update and train ag retailers as the regulations are updated. It is what we do.

Thank you,

Mitch Rezansoff

Executive Director, CAAR

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