Interpretation policy

An interpretation policy is an overarching document that outlines the commitments, practices, and tools to be applied by a department or agency when providing Canadians and businesses with information and guidance on regulatory obligations to be met. It also identifies the conditions under which written responses to questions will be provided.

Departmental context

The Canadian Grain Commission is responsible for regulations under the Canada Grain Act, and regulates grain handling in Canada as well as certifies the quality, safety and quantity of export shipments of Canadian grain. Its programs and services support a competitive, efficient grain sector and uphold Canada’s international reputation for consistent and reliable grain quality.

Predictability

The Canadian Grain Commission commits to respond to regulatory questions in a timely manner, providing client-focused, helpful, and consistent responses to regulatory interpretation questions. Responses will be communicated in the form in which they are received (for example, written questions will be responded to in writing).

Plain language commitment

Responses to regulatory questions will be communicated in the official language in which the question was posed. The Canadian Grain Commission will ensure that all information about regulations as well as responses to regulatory questions are clear, relevant objective, easy to understand and useful.

Providing guidance and building awareness

The Canadian Grain Commission’s website includes resources and reference materials regarding the Canadian Grain Commission’s programs and frequently asked questions. The Canadian Grain Commission also builds awareness through direct communication with target audiences about available programs and services. This includes but is not limited to communicating through news releases, web content, information bulletins, advertising, social media, exhibits, events and regional outreach.

Responding to questions

The Canadian Grain Commission welcomes your questions, comments and suggestions. There are several ways for you to contact us to share your comments and ask questions about our programs and services.

Note that verbal and email responses to questions about regulations are not considered legally binding. Written interpretive responses are binding on the Department if all the material facts have been submitted, are accurate, and remain substantially unchanged. Furthermore, the interpretation applies only to the party requesting the interpretation. A written interpretive response to a question about a regulation can take 30 days or longer to receive depending on the complexity of the question. Requests for a written interpretive response must be submitted to the Department in writing.

Service

Service commitment

As outlined in the Canadian Grain Commission’s Mandate, we are an organization dedicated to establishing and maintaining standards of quality for Canadian grain, regulating grain handling in Canada, and ensuring that grain is a dependable commodity for domestic and export markets, from producer to global consumer.

We demonstrate integrity with our stakeholders and employees by taking responsibility for our actions, standing by our decisions and upholding our Values and Ethic Codes. We treat clients and colleagues with dignity, fairness, and honesty and are accountable for our activities and decisions. We are committed to delivering high quality service when responding to questions related to regulatory interpretation because we understand the importance of agriculture to our economy, communities, environment and human health.

At the Canadian Grain Commission, we are:

  • Respectful – treat all colleagues and clients with dignity, fairness and honesty.
  • Client-Focused – provide relevant, efficient and adaptable programs and services for all stakeholders.
  • Responsive – provide timely and courteous services to clients and colleagues alike.
  • Accountable – good stewards of public trust.

Service accountability

Service standards

Service standards are a concrete and verifiable way that the Canadian Grain Commission can demonstrate it is meeting the expectations of our clients. The standards vary depending on the type of service being provided, and are an essential part of the Canadian Grain Commission’s commitment to service excellence. Below is a list of service standards currently in effect:

Mechanisms to track errors and address problems

The Canadian Grain Commission tracks all client inquiries received through its 1-800 Client feedback phone line and received by the Canadian Grain Commission’s Contact email box. Details of these services are documented in an internal Canadian Grain Commission Policy, including follow-up procedures to ensure that inquiries have been dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Staff training

The Canadian Grain Commission provides ongoing support to its employees by providing them with the necessary training to deliver high quality, professional services and to provide information on regulatory requirements.

Stakeholder engagement

Commitment to engage stakeholders

The Canadian Grain Commission is committed to appropriately engaging stakeholders when developing, reviewing or refining practices and materials for providing information and guidance on regulatory compliance and answering questions.

Stakeholder engagement practices

The Canadian Grain Commission will continue to seek stakeholder feedback on regulatory issues, including the Regulatory Interpretation Policy through its existing stakeholder communication mechanisms as well as via this web page.

Improvement

At the Canadian Grain Commission, we are dedicated to making a continual effort to improve our service to Canadians. Improvements to address the priority areas raised by stakeholders via this webpage and other channels along with the associated metrics will be posted on this webpage.

In January and February 2015, the Canadian Grain Commission reached out to stakeholders to seek feedback on current regulatory interpretation practices and areas for improvement. Feedback was also sought via this webpage.

The Canadian Grain Commission continues to engage with stakeholders to identify areas for improvement regarding regulatory interpretation practices. Performance and potential improvements will be assessed regularly as requests are received.

While no feedback has been received, the Canadian Grain Commission remains committed to improving our service to Canadians. Please email your feedback regarding the Canadian Grain Commission regulatory interpretation practices to contact@grainscanada.gc.ca.

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians web sites.

For more information

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