Minor Use Pesticide Program: Memorandum of Understanding between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Health Canada

Memorandum of Understanding between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (as represented by the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Science and Technology Branch) and Health Canada (as represented by the Executive Director of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency) (all hereinafter referred to as "the Parties").

Pertaining to:

1.0 Purpose

1.1 This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sets out the general terms, roles and responsibilities for the Parties respecting the management of the MUPP to improve grower access to agricultural minor-use pesticides.

1.2 The MUPP will continue collaboration with stakeholders to: prioritize pest management needs; facilitate access to new pest management tools; and contribute to improving the competitiveness of Canadian growers.

1.3 This MOU replaces the document signed between the parties in March 2018 relating to the Canadian Agriculture Partnership initiative and related funding, which expires in March 2023.

2.0 Principles

2.1 The MUPP is jointly delivered as part of federal government commitments as they relate to pesticides under the S-CAP, which seeks to improve grower access to new minor uses of pesticides. This MOU provides further details as to how the Parties will deliver the commitments for the program.

2.2 AAFC's mandate to provide leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector will be respected.

2.3 HC's mandate as defined in the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) will be respected. Its primary objective is to prevent unacceptable risks to people and the environment from the use of pest control products.

2.4 Stakeholders and the public will be kept informed through a transparent management system of the status of projects and activities through the AAFC departmental website.

2.5 Funding provided is intended for the specified results and outcomes as described in section 4.

3.0 Background

3.1 The federal government recognizes that numerous factors, both domestic and international, influence the profitability, sustainability and success of farmers and other agricultural businesses. To remain competitive and profitable, these businesses need to evolve by adapting to market demands and a changing regulatory environment as well as innovating to capture value-added and other market opportunities.

3.2 The MUPP was established in 2003 as part of a federal government initiative in response to a number of concerns over pesticide use and regulation in Canada. Canadian producers of horticultural and specialty crops do not always have access to the needed crop protection tools compared to producers of major crops as manufacturers are reluctant to seek product approval due to the small Canadian pesticide market size for these minor crops. Access to effective crop protection products is critical for growers to remain competitive in the market place, especially considering that counterparts in the U.S. often have access to tools to control the same pests on the same crops. Improving grower access to new minor uses of pesticides provides Canadian growers with the tools they need to protect their investments in the field and contribute to the capacity of the industry to adapt and be competitive.

3.3 In order for HC to register a new pesticide use there must be sufficient information to assess human health and environmental risk, and value. The Canadian pesticide regulatory framework allows AAFC to apply on behalf of Canadian growers for registration of new minor uses of pesticides. Through the MUPP, AAFC generates the scientific data needed by HC to support these registrations.

3.4 The S-CAP initiative continues federal investments established in previous agriculture policy frameworks to enable the agriculture and agri-food sector’s ability to adapt to changing crop production systems and regulatory environments. Through the MUPP, AAFC and HC will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to prioritize pest management needs, facilitate access to new pest management tools that meet health and environmental standards and continue to contribute to improving the competitiveness of Canadian growers of horticultural and specialty crops.

3.5 Continued investment is required to ensure timely access to new pest management products. The funding from the S-CAP initiative remains at previous policy framework levels. Funding is intended to provide dedicated regulatory review of AAFC submissions, including joint AAFC-U.S. IR-4 submissions, as well as regulatory review of provincial minor use submissions.

3.6 Continued emphasis on joint projects between the MUPP and U.S. IR-4 improves pesticide availability for Canadian growers in a timely manner. By sharing regulatory data collection, joint projects leverage the individual country priorities and efforts, leading to an overall enhancement of the number of new minor uses compared to working individually and to facilitate international trade by aligning Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) where possible. Data from joint projects is then submitted for joint regulatory review by HC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) or in conjunction with the initial submission of the pesticide manufacturer.

4.0 Delivery and results

4.1 The results framework for the MUPP is outlined in Table 1 below. Further details on activities, under each area, are detailed in Section 6 (Program Delivery) of this MOU.

Table 1. Minor Use Pesticide Program results framework
Short-medium term (1-5 yrs)
Output(s)/outcome(s) Performance indicator(s)Footnote* Target(s) Data strategy
Regulatory submissions for new minor uses of pesticides are sent to HC. Number of minor use regulatory submissions provided to HC or pesticide manufacturers by AAFC. Target: 30 per year Baseline: 150 from 2023-2028 Program data (AAFC Science and Technology Branch (STB/AAFC) Frequency: annually
Regulatory submissions for new minor uses of pesticides are evaluated by HC. Number of AAFC and provincial minor use submissions reviewed by HC. Target: 50 per year Baseline: 250 from 2023-2028 Program data (HC) Frequency: annually
Footnote 1

Performance indicators are aligned with AAFC and HC Departmental Results Frameworks

Return to footnote*referrer

4.2 Program performance will be measured using the outcomes identified in Table 1 and reported to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) committee (see Section 5, below) on an annual basis. Changes to the performance measures will be approved pursuant to Section 5 of this MOU.

5.0 Governance

5.1 AAFC/HC Assistant Deputy Minister Committee:

An Assistant Deputy Ministers’ Committee has been established to oversee this MOU. The Committee comprises the Executive Director, Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), HC and the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch, AAFC. The ADM Committee will meet annually to discuss achievements and performance of the initiative.

5.2 AAFC/HC Joint Management Committee:

The Parties have established a Joint Management Committee (JMC) to implement this MOU. The Committee comprises the Executive Director of the Pest Management Centre (PMC), and the Director General of Coastal Region, of AAFC and the Director General of the Value Assessment and Re-evaluation Management Directorate and the Director General of the Policy and OperationsDirectorate of PMRA, HC. The JMC reports to their respective ADM (or equivalent). The JMC will:

  1. establish and concur on annual milestones, indicators and targets, to deliver the program
  2. review annual reporting documents to assess progress on outputs, outcomes and achievements and to provide feedback and direction
  3. report program performance annually to the ADM Committee
  4. agree on improvements to processes, implementation and management of tasks and activities as applicable in accordance with the general objectives of the Treasury Board Submission and highlighted in this MOU
  5. recommend changes to the objectives of this MOU for ADM Committee review, where objectives of the MOU change significantly
  6. review requests for dispute resolution and, if required, forward them to the respective Assistant Deputy Ministers pursuant to Section 10

5.3 AAFC/HC working group:

The Parties have established a working group, reporting to the JMC, which will meet as required to fulfill the general terms and objectives of this MOU.

5.3.1. The AAFC/HC Working Group will:

  1. provide the JMC with annual milestones, indicators and targets, to deliver the program
  2. provide the JMC with annual reporting as per Section 8 to assess progress on program outputs and outcomes and to provide direction
  3. assume any additional responsibilities as assigned by the JMC
  4. seek the advice of the JMC on the management of their respective activities as needed
  5. resolve any disputes as per Section 10

6.0 Program delivery

AAFC and HC will undertake the following activities.

6.1 Develop, share and discuss plans to deliver the program. The plans will consider both internally and externally selected work that may impact the MUPP and the work of each organization.

6.2 AAFC will ensure it provides complete submission data packages for the registration of new minor uses of pesticides to HC. This will involve the following:

  1. Annually, AAFC will work with the provinces, grower organizations, pesticide companies, HC, international bodies (such as the U.S. IR-4 and USEPA) and other stakeholders to determine top pest and disease priorities and potential pest control product solutions.
  2. AAFC will initiate pre-submission consultations with HC as necessary.
  3. AAFC will generate data for the registration of new minor uses of pesticides, of which the pesticide residue data generated for submissions will be Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) compliant.

6.3 HC will provide regulatory advice and review submissions to register new minor uses of pesticides. This will involve:

  1. providing minor use pre-submission consultation guidance, as necessary, to AAFC and Provinces
  2. screening submissions for completeness, organization and formatting to ensure that these satisfy the submission criteria
  3. reviewing submissions for new minor uses of pesticides
  4. making regulatory decisions and registering the use, if the health risks, environmental risks, and value are acceptable and where there is registrant support for the new minor use

7.0 Funding

7.1 Program funding for both Parties is provided over five years in accordance with the S-CAP initiative. The Parties will ensure appropriate financial controls are in place and prepare related expenditure reports.

7.2 A total of $21,256,720 in operating funding (Vote 1 and related administrative costs), $4,251,344 per year, will be transferred to HC from AAFC through the Supplementary Estimates to support delivery of activities by the PMRA, HC. The Supplementary Estimates transfer will be completed in 2023-24 and will include an ARLU adjustment for the four remaining fiscal years ending in 2027-28.

8.0 Performance reporting

8.1 The Parties will each report on performance through the Parliamentary reporting process, using the Departmental Plan and the Departmental Results Report. The content of these reports will be drawn from the ongoing reports of results achieved.

8.2 In addition, HC will report to Parliament annually, as required under the PCPA. Annual reports will include, among other things, a status report on the registration of pest control products including minor use registrations.

9.0 Communications

9.1 With respect to communication activities directly impacting the program, the Parties will, where applicable:

  1. consult with each other on the planning and development of such activities, and
  2. refer to the S-CAP initiative and its objectives, and shall fully and fairly reflect the contribution of each Party

9.2 The above will not prevent either of the Parties from engaging in other communication activities to meet their respective mandates/obligations.

10.0 Dispute resolution

10.1 Dispute resolution involves early recognition of conflict, promotion of cooperation and building stronger relationship through effectively and fairly managed conflict. The Parties agree to resolve any dispute arising from implementation of this MOU through informal negotiations and development of mutually satisfactory options. Where informal negotiations at the JMC level have failed to resolve the matter to a mutual satisfaction, the Parties agree to refer the matter to the ADM Committee.

10.2 Where informal negotiations by the ADM Committee have failed to resolve the matter to the mutual satisfaction, the Parties agree to refer the matter to the Deputy Ministers of AAFC and HC.

11.0 Duration of MOU

11.1 This MOU will be in effect upon the date the last signature is affixed and will remain in effect until March 31, 2028, at which time it will be subject to review and renewal.

12.0 Amendment

12.1 This MOU can be amended, with the written consent of the signatories, based upon mutual agreement, at any Parties’ request. The operation of this MOU will be reviewed annually by the ADM Committee.

13.0 Audits and evaluations

13.1 The MUPP will be subject of evaluation in accordance with HC and AAFC`s Evaluation Plans as required under Treasury Board's Policy on Results. Evaluations will be coordinated between the parties to the extent possible.

13.2 The evaluation will draw on the performance data as one of the lines of evidence in an in-depth study of outcomes and examining unintended outcomes within the MUPP and on other programs.

13.3 Should an internal departmental audit related to the initiatives described in this MOU be initiated by one of the Parties, a copy of all the final audit reports and statements will be provided to the other Party by no later than nine (9) months following the year covered by the audit. The purpose and scope of the audit will be discussed with, and where possible approved by the other Party.

14. Signatories

14.1 This is to certify that the terms contained in this MOU are acceptable to both parties.

Executive Director, Date
Pest Management Regulatory Agency,
Health Canada

Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Date
Science and Technology Branch,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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