Briefing Note on Federal Ministerial Mandate Letters

December 21, 2021 | Videos

On December 16th, Prime Minister Trudeau released the Ministerial mandate letters.  Every Minister receives a mandate letter that provides direction from the Prime Minister on the priorities of their portfolio and Ministers are expected to deliver on the objectives outlined in these letters.

The mandate letters released yesterday reference many commitments that align directly with the goals of NCFA.  We will now use the content of these letters as ‘hooks’ for our advocacy efforts.

Of special note is the commitment on trade, labour and the supply chain.


The full mandate letters can be found here.


The following are highlights of the key commitments in the Ministerial letters that will be of interest to NCFA and its members.


Agriculture and Agri-Food

  • Work with provinces and territories to update business risk management programs, including to integrate climate risk management, environmental practices and climate readiness.
  • Develop a sector-specific Agricultural Labour Strategy to address persistent and chronic labour shortages in farming and food processing in the short and long term.
  • Increase support to farmers to develop and adopt agricultural management practices to reduce emissions, store carbon in healthy soil and enhance resiliency; triple funding for clean tech on farms, including for renewable energy, precision agriculture and energy efficiency; and work with farmers and stakeholders to reduce methane and fertilizer emissions in the agricultural sector.
  • Implement sector-based work permits and strengthen the inspection regime to ensure the health and safety of temporary foreign workers.
  • Expand pathways to Permanent Residence for international students and temporary foreign workers through the Express Entry system.
  • Continue to protect supply-managed agricultural sectors, our family farms and the vitality of our rural areas
  • Develop the next agricultural policy framework to continue to support the sustainable economic growth of the agriculture and agri-food sector, ensuring climate action and resilience are core to the framework.
  • Continue to explore next steps to modernize the Canada Grain Actand ensure it meets the needs of the sector now and in the future.
  • Establish a Canada Water Agency and implement a strengthened Freshwater Action Plan.


International Trade


  • Combat protectionism, unfair trade practices, and economic coercion around the world. Engage the United States to address bilateral trade issues and protectionist measures, including with respect to government procurement and in the automotive, energy, and agricultural sectors.
  • Strengthen and secure supply chains, including through the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, and pursue opportunities more broadly for market diversification and trade facilitating infrastructure.
  • Enhance trade engagement with the Pacific Alliance and pursue bilateral trade agreements with key partners.
  • Negotiating, as part of a new Indo-Pacific strategy, new bilateral and regional trade agreements
  • Advancing negotiations with the United Kingdom towards a fully realized Canada-UK Trade Agreement.
  • Building off our success in negotiating new free trade agreements, lead their continued implementation to ensure they benefit Canadian consumers and businesses.




  • Continue to put a rising price on pollution and protect Canadian jobs and competitiveness through smart carbon pricing design. 
  • Establish a Canada Water Agency and implement a strengthened Freshwater Action Plan.
  • Following the establishment of a Canada Water Agency, advance the modernization of the Canada Water Act to reflect Canada’s freshwater reality, including climate change and Indigenous rights.
  • Implement the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, and, by the end of March 2022, bring forward an updated Emissions Reduction Plan to achieve a 40 to 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels.
  • Identify ways to further accelerate climate action to achieve net-zero emissions as soon as possible and no later than 2050 and to pursue efforts to limit the increase in average global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • Make progress on methane emission reductions by developing a plan to reduce emissions across the broader Canadian economy consistent with the Global Methane Pledge and require through regulations the reduction of oil and gas methane emissions in Canada by at least 75 per cent below 2012 levels by 2030.


Infrastructure and Communities

  • Work to strengthen and secure supply chains and reduce and prevent supply chain bottlenecks in Canada’s transportation networks.



  • Finalizing the front-of-package labelling to promote healthy food choices and supporting restrictions on the commercial marketing of food and beverages.
  • Work with partners to take increased and expedited action to monitor, prevent and mitigate the serious and growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Modernize and strengthen the Pest Control Products Act to ensure it supports transparency, use of independent scientific evidence and input to the decision-making process.


  • Accelerate broadband delivery by implementing a “use it or lose it” approach to require those that have purchased rights to build broadband to meet broadband access milestones or risk losing their spectrum rights.
  • Continue to support the economic growth and recovery of Canada’s traditionally strong industries, including but not limited to automotive, aerospace, natural resources and agri-food.
  • Strengthen and secure supply chains and reduce and prevent bottlenecks in Canada’s transportation networks.

Treasury Board

  • Continue leading our regulatory reform efforts to improve transparency, reduce administrative burden and lead our efforts to harmonize regulations that maintain high safety standards and improve the competitiveness of Canadian businesses.
  • Update and replace outdated IT systems and modernize the way government delivers benefits and services to Canadians;



  • Work to reduce and prevent supply chain bottlenecks in Canada’s transportation networks through the National Trade Corridors Fund and legislative and regulatory authorities.

Prairie Economic Development

  • Contribute to the design and delivery of the new Futures Fund for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador to ensure that it supports local and regional economic diversification and place-based strategies.

Citizenship and Immigration

  • Establish a Trusted Employer system for Canadian companies hiring temporary foreign workers and simplify permit renewals, uphold the two-week processing time and establish an employer hotline.
  • Expand pathways to Permanent Residence for international students and temporary foreign workers through the Express Entry system.

Rural Economic Development

  • Continue to lead the Universal Broadband Fund and accelerate the delivery of broadband service across Canada.
  • Implement the Rural Economic Development Strategy.
  • Develop an approach to better support the economic growth of small and medium-sized communities, focusing your efforts on rural Canadians.
  • Contribute to the development of rural infrastructure priorities in line with the Government’s broader infrastructure strategy.