Government touts legislation to re-empower agricultural commissions

Government of Alberta
News release
The Alberta government is supporting agricultural commissions by giving producers more autonomy to choose which service-charge model works best for their industry.

Minister Oneil Carlier (front left) meets with Alberta Beef Producers’ Bob Lowe (front right), Roland Cailliau (rear right) and Tom Lynch-Staunton (rear left).

The Marketing of Agricultural Products Amendment Act 2017 was tabled in the legislature today (April 11). Amendments to the act would give each commission the ability to determine whether their service charges, also known as “check-offs,” should be refundable or non-refundable. Service charges are collected when an agricultural product is sold, or it is a base charge to each member of the commission.

“With this amendment, government would restore autonomy to agricultural commissions and their members. We want them to have the power to determine their own service-charge model, because a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach doesn’t make sense in today’s diverse agriculture.”
– Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Legislative changes in 2009 made all commission service charges refundable and Alberta became the only jurisdiction in Canada with mandatory refundable service charges. Under the proposed amendments, members could change their commission’s service-charge model through a plebiscite.

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