Feds Shed Spots On CGC, Farm Products Council

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Awidespread trimming of patronage appointments across a number of federal boards, agencies, commissions and tribunals will include the Canadian Grain Commission and National Farm Products Council.

“The reduction of 245 positions from various federal organizations will not affect the delivery of government services in any way,” federal Treasury Board Minister Stockwell Day said in a release Mar. 8.

“Rather, it will better address the current workload of these organizations and streamline their efficiency in delivering service to Canadians.”

Almost 90 per cent of the spots to be cut are already vacant “and have been for some time,” the Treasury Board said in its release.

Those include six spots on the Canadian Grain Commission, leaving its oversight of Canada’s grain handling and certification in the hands of current chief commissioner, Elwin Hermanson, assistant chief commissioner Jim Smolik and commissioner Cam Dahl.

The NFPC, which oversees four of Canada’s supply-managed commodity-marketing agencies as well as farm product marketing between provinces and internationally, will see its two vacant council positions eliminated.

That leaves the council with a board of seven part-time members, with six seats currently filled and the chairman’s position currently vacant.

The 245 positions to be cut are deemed “governor-in-council” positions, filled by individuals appointed by Canada’s governor general, on the advice of the federal cabinet.

FCC criticized

Fiscal pressure from the cabinet level has also landed on staff at another federal ag agency, Farm Credit Canada, as Toronto media released a report on expenses at the Regina-based Crown agency.

The news reports cited the ag lending agency’s spending on senior executives’ travel and hospitality as well inhouse rewards programs that provided free trips to destinations such as Disney World for top-performing staff.

An FCC spokesman was quoted by the Toronto Sun as saying the rewards programs were meant to help foster a “culture of recognition” that allows the agency to attract and retain employees.

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