Current federal legislation does not allow for meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fruits and vegetables to cross provincial/territorial borders, or to be exported out of Canada unless these products are processed in a federally licensed facility. The new Safe Food for Canadians Act will expand this to include all foods shipped out of province/territory. The Canadian government claims that this is required to ensure that Canada fulfils its commitments under current world trade agreements. 


Currently, implementation of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations and licensing requirements is cost prohibitive to many small to mid-sized processors and constitute a major barrier to interprovincial and international trade. The processor’s share of these costs is excessive when compared to costs incurred by their competitors for similar services in other jurisdictions, notably in the USA. This places Canadian processors at a disadvantage to many competitors. 

Our Recommendations

  1. Works collaboratively with provincial/territorial and federal inspection agencies to effect positive changes to food safety outcome inspections, enabling processors to compete more efficiently in both domestic and international markets: 
    1. To support a single industry outcome that can be implemented with consistency and cost- effectiveness across Canada by the provinces/territories, with each provincial/territorial regulator subject to Canadian Food Inspection Agency oversight; 
    2. The food safety regulations need to be reviewed for relevancy and modified/broadened if current criteria are unnecessarily restrictive and insensitive to sound business interests; and 
    3. The implementation must be consistent and cost-effective throughout the food distribution chain, without compromising Canada’s reputation for high food safety standards; and 
  2. Reassess inspection and regulatory costs and how they are allocated, to enable processors to trade across provincial or national borders, without being at a competitive disadvantage.
Download The Policy Brief



If you have any questions, contact Dana Severson at or (780) 425-4180 ext. 2.