CANADA: Federal food inspection agency has budget cut as Ottawa mulls loosening slaughterhouse regulations
Posted: May 20th, 2012 - 12:41pm
Source: Global Edmonton
OTTAWA -- At the same time as Ottawa considers loosening regulations for slaughterhouses, the federal agency tasked with protecting food in Canada is having its budget slashed.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency planning documents tabled in the House of Commons recently indicate the office will be seeing its budget drop $44.6 million over three years, falling to $677.3 million in 2014-15. The report also reveals the agency will lose the equivalent of 314 full-time employees during the same time-frame.
The Conservatives already indicated in the March budget that the CFIA was going to be dealing with less money, but they didn't offer many hints as to where the savings would come from and which programs could be affected.
This month's report on plans and priorities, however, suggest the food safety program -- tasked with diminishing public health risks associated with diseases and other health hazards in the food supply system -- could take a hit of up to $18 million between 2011-12 and 2014-15.
Government officials say funding for the food safety program could increase from those levels as Parliament approves proposed funding down the road, including millions laid out in Budget 2012.