A two-year pilot project is rolling out to cut the red tape on food products crossing the Alberta-Saskatchewan divide in Lloydminster. The program will be in place over this time frame or until changes are made to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.
This as a Chamber of Commerce led initiative is prompting the short term solution to get around the issue of the sale of even a sandwich that was made on the Alberta side of the city being sold on the Saskatchewan side of Lloydminster.
The goal of the pilot is to allow the movement of safe food across the border as if Lloydminster was one city and not separated by the 4th Meridian line. The Chamber of Commerce will be collecting data for review by federal and bi-provincial regulators at the end of the pilot. Agencies involved include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency along with agriculture and health departments.
Mayor Gerald Aalbers sees the pilot program as a significant step forward for businesses in Lloydminster saying “it addresses the unique challenges faced by local businesses in interprovincial trade and is beneficial for our local economy and will ensure that safe food can move seamlessly within our city, regardless of the provincial border.”
Aalbers commended “the collaborative efforts of the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the city of Lloydminster, and the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce.”
Businesses need to apply to participate in the pilot program. Application forms and further details are on the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce website.
Businesses that choose not to participate in the pilot program may not send food products across the border unless they have a Safe Food for Canadians licence.
The new pilot program adds on to last November’s change allowing the movement of craft beer from Alberta to Saskatchewan.
The Chamber is hosting an info session on Jan. 26 at Servus Sports centre in the Oilfield Technical Society room at 9 a.m.