Mandate, Mission and Vision
The Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal (Tribunal) is an independent, quasi-judicial body established by Parliament pursuant to section 4.1 of the Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAP Act).
The Tribunal's primary role is to provide independent oversight, through the exercise of its review jurisdiction, of federal agencies' use of Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP) in relation to agriculture and agri-food. These AMP systems form part of several federal agencies' "escalating scale of enforcement" providing an expeditious, non-punitive means to promote regulatory compliance. Alleged violators have the right to seek a review of any AMP violation before the Tribunal. Three agencies - the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency - currently fall under the Tribunal's review jurisdiction.
The Tribunal maintains an independent, quasi-judicial, arm's length relationship from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and its Minister, as required by the provisions of the CAP Act and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Act (AMP Act). Subsection 4.2 (1) of the CAP Act provides that no member of the Tribunal may concurrently hold employment in the federal public administration. Pursuant to subsection 8(1) of the same Act, the Tribunal is a court of record and has an official seal that is subject to judicial notice.
This legislative framework for the constitution and operation of the Tribunal demonstrates Parliament's intention for a cooperative relationship between the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Tribunal, and one that is, all the while, mindful of the necessity for safeguarding the integrity and independence of the Tribunal to carry out its mandate. The Tribunal is responsible to Parliament through the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The mission of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal is to provide a timely, independent, fair and informal review of the validity of administrative monetary penalties issued to any person by a federal agency under the AMP Act.
The vision of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal is to safeguard the integrity of the Administrative Monetary Penalties system used by federal agencies to ensure compliance with agriculture and agri-food statutes. The Tribunal acts to balance the rights of Canadians while protecting the health and well-being of Canadian consumers and enhancing the economic vibrancy of Canadian agriculture.