AAFC lawyer to lead federal farm tribunal

Donald Buckingham, a lawyer for the federal agriculture department in Ottawa, has been named to head the tribunal that hears farmers’ appeals of their federal fines.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz on Friday named Buckingham to a five-year full-time term as chairperson and CEO of the Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal (CART).

“He brings to the position ample experience, as a legal counsel in the federal government, consultant to government, industry and non-governmental organizations, and law professor,” Ritz said, “virtually all of it related to the agricultural industry.”

CART is a “small, quasi-judicial” body that gives the public the opportunity to request reviews of certain administrative decisions or penalties imposed under various agriculture and agri-food acts.

“In this regard, CART plays a key role in ensuring a fair and efficient administrative monetary penalty system,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said Friday.

Buckingham worked as legal counsel for AAFC from 2006 until earlier this year, and between 1990 and 2009 taught law at the University of Western Ontario, University of Saskatchewan and University of Ottawa.

Born at Lloydminster, Sask., Buckingham also worked as a consultant in Saskatoon (1998-99) and Ottawa (2000-06) on issues pertaining to agriculture, food, trade, regulatory affairs and international development. Clients included AAFC, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

He has also co-authored five books, including Agriculture Law in Canada (1999), and has also written two forthcoming books related to agriculture and food law, AAFC noted.

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