Written Submission for the Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the Upcoming Federal Budget 

List of Recommendations 

Recommendation 1: We recommend that the Government of Canada implement the 2022 National Supply Chain Task Force recommendations, including: 

1. Make the current 18-month extended interswitching rail service pilot permanent, make it available nationally and increase the distance from 160km to 500km; 

2. Invest to remove pressure points and increase capacity and fluidity, especially at ports, particularly the North Shore rail bridge and tunnel in Vancouver; 

3. Give the Canadian Transportation Agency the mandate to ensure balanced negotiating powers between shippers and railways; and, 

4. Give grain farmers and shippers the ability to apply meaningful reciprocal penalties when railways do not deliver rail cars on time. 

Recommendation 2: We recommend that the Government of Canada create regulations and policies that allow for Canada to be a world leader in grain innovation, including: 

1. Canada should set a target to be the largest investor (public and private combined) in grain-related research per GDP. This requires increased public investment in grain R&D to ‘catch up’ from years of dilution and underinvestment, and to address regulatory irritants and hurdles, to attract a much higher share of global grain R&D from private firms. 

2. Gene-editing will revolutionize plant breeding and bring more sustainable varieties to farmers faster. CFIA must publish the final guidance on plant breeding innovations, as soon as possible, to secure investments in R&D and to ensure that farmers have access to the new varieties, when they are available around the world; and, 

3. Pesticide approvals must be based on science and risk-based decision-making. Real world observations must be given priority over modelling. Agronomic factors (e.g., disease pressures, alternatives, etc.) need to be reflected in decision making.