Contributing Lawyers


Cyndee Todgham Cherniak

United States

Susan Kohn Ross


Andrew Hudson

Interesting Ontario-Quebec Development in Inter-provincial Food Safety Arises During Canada-EU CETA Negotiations

During the week of April 19, 2010, the Canadian and EU negotiators met (in person and by teleconference) during the third round of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Canada-EU CETA) negotiations. In the beginning, the EU negotiators wanted the Canadian provinces at the negotiating table so that certain inter-provincial trade barriers could be resolved in the context of the negotiations.

While an Ontario-Quebec announcement does not mention the Canada-EU CETA negotiations, it would be fair to tie the announcement to the CETA discussions.

The following is a press release from the government of Ontario dated April 23, 2010.

Quebec-Ontario Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Hon. Robert Dutil, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Hon. Carol Mitchell, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, met yesterday and agreed to adopt a joint action plan to promote better agri-food sector integration and competitiveness between the two provinces.


Under the action plan, the two ministers have committed to work towards mutual recognition of standards involving bilateral trade, and to increased collaboration between Quebec and Ontario in areas of common interest, including research and agri-science innovation. Moreover, the two governments will work with industry partners to address common matters facing the chicken and hog sectors.


The ministers also agreed to work together in urging the federal government to review the federal Product of Canada guidelines and consider national compositional standards for yogurt. The Ministers also agreed to continue to jointly support supply management in Canada and in international trade negotiations.


Ministers Dutil and Mitchell also committed to work together in support of food export companies, and will be jointly championing the SIAL Canada trade show. SIAL is a prominent international food export trade show currently underway in Montreal until today.


As part of the Quebec-Ontario Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the two agriculture ministers will meet annually to promote a stronger collaboration in the agri-food sector. A report back to review progress on the 2010 action plan is scheduled to take place in May 2011.









In context, this is a positive development that may improve inter-provincial trade before the Canada-EU CETA is signed, if it is signed.

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