Chorney’s appointment as CGC chief commissioner extended until end of April

The Canadian Grain Commission’s office in downtown Winnipeg.

The federal government has extended Doug Chorney’s appointment as the chief commissioner of the Canadian Grain Commission.

Chorney’s three-year term was to expire in December, but the Governor-in-Council has extended it to April 30, 2024. Chorney, who farms at East Selkirk, Man., has agreed to continue in the role until then.

The government sought applications for the role of chief commissioner in the spring of 2023. The job posting at the time said the process of reviewing applications was to begin in May 2023.

It’s not clear why the search for a new commissioner is taking so long.

“This extension will provide the Government of Canada the time to complete the open, transparent, and merit-based selection process that was launched earlier in 2023 to fill the position,” says a CGC spokesperson, in an email to RealAgriculture.

The delay could potentially be related to the possibility of the government moving ahead with legislative or regulatory changes regarding the role of the Grain Commission.

Back in May, the federal agriculture minister at the time, Marie-Claude Bibeau, said she intended to move ahead on modernizing the Canada Grain Act before the end of the year. The act has been the subject of multiple reviews and consultations going back to the early 1970s. A “What we heard” report on the most-recent review was published by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada right before the federal election in 2021.

“It’s almost there. I hate to give dates — my team wants to kill me when I give dates, but my own personal target is, let’s say, before Christmas, that I want to table it before Christmas,” Bibeau told the House of Commons’ agriculture committee back in May.

Lawrence MacAulay, who took over from Bibeau as agriculture minister in August, told RealAgriculture last month that his office is continuing to work on the Grain Act file and that they regularly hear from farm groups seeking changes. He didn’t offer a timeline, but said there were “a lot of things we want to do with the Grain Act.”

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