Annual Report on Travel, Hospitality and Conference Expenditures

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 2019 - 2020

As required by the Treasury Board Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conference and Event Expenditures, this report provides information on travel, hospitality and conference expenditures for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020.

Travel, hospitality and conference expenditures incurred by a federal department or agency relate to activities that support the department or agency’s mandate and the government’s priorities.


The Department supports the sector from the farmer to the consumer, from the farm to global markets, through all phases of producing, processing and marketing of farm, food and agri-based products. Agriculture is a shared jurisdiction in Canada, and the Department works closely with provincial and territorial governments in the development and delivery of policies, programs and services.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Travel, Hospitality and Conference Expenditures for Year ending March 31, 2020

Travel, Hospitality and Conference Expenditures

Expenditure category

Expenditures for year ended March 31, 2020 ($ thousands)

Expenditures for year ended March 31, 2019 ($ thousands)

Variance ($ thousands)


Operational activities




Key stakeholders




Internal governance












A. Total travel




B. Hospitality




C. Conference fees




Total [A+B+C]




International travel by minister and minister's staff (included in travel)




Explanation of significant variances compared with previous fiscal year

Total travel:

Compared to fiscal year 2018-2019, departmental travel expenditures in 2019-2020 decreased by $573,000 or 5%. This decrease is mainly attributed to reduced travel for operational activities as a result of the Caretaker Convention applying to the 2019 election, as well as cancelled trips due to the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020.


Compared to fiscal year 2018-2019, departmental hospitality expenditures in 2019-2020 decreased by $207,000 or 47%. This decrease was mainly due to the growing use of virtual workshops instead of in-person events. In addition, the decrease was also due to the cancellation of meetings and events that were originally planned for March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conference fees:

Departmental Conference Fees in 2019-2020 varied only marginally from 2018-2019, with an increase of $8,000.

Minister and minister’s exempt staff - International travel:

Compared to fiscal year 2018-2019, Minister and Minister’s Office staff international travel expenditures in 2019-2020 decreased by $123,000 or 79.9%. This decrease is primarily due to the Minister only travelling twice internationally in the election year of 2019-2020 compared to six international trips in 2018-2019. The Minister and her staff traveled to Japan in May of 2019 where she participated in the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Niigata, met with international counterparts, and engaged with key Japanese industry organizations from the grains, oilseed and meat sectors to emphasize the mutual importance of rules-based trade and the countries’ long-standing partnership. The Minister also traveled to Washington in February 2020 to collaborate with the U.S. and other partners within the Western Hemisphere Agricultural Group, also known as Ag5. At the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 96th Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, Minister Bibeau participated in a panel discussion and also hosted a dialogue with key U.S. stakeholders from the Washington Agricultural Roundtable, Women in International Trade, and the U.S. Food and Ag Dialogue to discuss the importance of the Canada-U.S. trading relationship.