As the Government of Alberta continues to reduce regulatory red tape, there’s an opportunity for Alberta Canola to help with this.
Marketing Council, the oversight body for the twenty agricultural boards and commissions in Alberta, has directed Alberta Canola to develop bylaws that will help update the Alberta Canola Producers Marketing Plan Regulation. This will improve the overall regulatory process and adaptability in a dynamic agricultural environment.
In July 2020, changes were made to the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act (MAPA) that provides authority to develop bylaws. This means that Alberta Canola can now gain approval easier if there are changes to bylaws instead of facing the task of making changes to Marketing Plan Regulations.
This was an important step for enabling a more streamlined process. Bylaws function as alternate regulatory instruments and rules that support the governance of members and regulation of affairs that help the operation of the organization. In other words, the terms of office, elections of directors, general rights of producers and overall governance of the organization can now be removed from regulation and placed into bylaws.
In the past, Marketing Council required approval from Council and the Minister of Agriculture for regulatory changes. Now, they’ll be able to consider approval of proposed bylaw changes more efficiently as they only need Council review.
TIMELINE & PROCESS
The Bylaws Implementation Project divides the current Marketing Plan Regulation into new draft Bylaws and new draft Marketing Plan Regulation. For simplicity and transparency, this was a cut and paste exercise. Our legal counsel developed our first draft bylaws that our directors reviewed. The chair, vice chair, and Executive Director took a deep dive and highlighted many sections to review with Marketing Council staff. The Executive Director worked on numerous drafts with Marketing Council staff and the legislative drafters to clean up inconsistencies, language, and provide rationale for seven minor changes, which were then again vetted by our legal counsel.
These minor proposed changes were presented at all our fall Grower Engagement Meetings. The result is the final draft bylaws presented to our growers to be approval at our AGM.
November 2022 – Alberta Canola’s Fall Newsletter mailed to all canola growers in Alberta announcing the proposed changes
November & December 2022 – Alberta Canola presented the proposed changes at the Grower Engagement Meetings held in Olds, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, and online.
Marketing Council staff approved Alberta Canola’s draft of the Official Bylaws for consultation with producers.
January 10, 2023 – Advanced consultation period of draft bylaws for producers closes
January 17, 2023 – Official Bylaws were presented for approval at Alberta Canola’s Annual General Meeting. The draft bylaws were approved at the AGM by eligible producers in attending in-person and online.
Next Steps: The decision to approve the draft bylaws approved at the AGM is now with Marketing Council and the Minister of Agriculture & Irrigation