Dr. Harpreet S. Kochhar has been named as president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) effective Feb. 27, 2023.
Donation of local ground beef a game changer for food banks
A 500-pound ground beef donation split between the Creemore and Angus food banks ensures they won’t soon be asking, “where’s…
The former CFIA president, Dr. Siddika Mithani, retired on Jan. 20 in what officials say was a planned exit.
However Mithani’s leadership was called into question by an October 2022 letter to Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau from the National Farmers Union and 14 other organizations.
The letter alleged CFIA showed a long-standing pattern of deference to regulated parties, pointing to the CFIA’s collaboration with CropLife Canada around drafting gene-edited crop regulations.
“(This) has caused us to lose confidence in the CFIA’s ability to protect the public interest,” stated the NFU letter.
It went on to suggest Mithani be with someone who shows an unwavering commitment to protecting the interests of Canadians.
Upon hearing of Mithani’s retirement, the NFU issued a follow-up letter to the Prime Minister urging him to ensure Mithani’s replacement “doesn’t enable corporate lobby groups to have inordinate influence over its regulatory decisions.”
“(Required)” indicates required fields
“(We need) someone with an unwavering commitment to preventing regulatory capture,” said the NFU letter. “Who will provide the leadership needed to protect the interests of Canadians, our food and our environment and restore the CFIA’s reputation and credibility.”
The Feb. 10 announcement of Kochar’s appointment by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was one of several changes to the senior ranks in the federal public service.
Kochar is currently president of the Public Health Agency of Canada. As of Feb. 27 this role will be filled by Heather Jeffrey, currently associate deputy minister of health.
Chris Forbes, currently Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, becomes Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change, effective Feb. 20, 2023.
Stefanie Beck, currently Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence, will replace Forbes as becomes Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. , effective February 20, 2023.
Dr. Kochar has held previous roles within the CFIA, and was Canada’s Chief Veterinary Officer from 2015 to 2017.