Canadian Retailer - Spring 2015 - 14
retail: at issue
RCC's Grocery Division staff (left to right): Jason McLinton, Nathalie St-Pierre and Jim Cormier.
regulatory changes in occupational health
and safety that were out-of-line with other
provinces. And, in PEI, the Division was successful in gaining clarification from government regarding food handling certifications
and water testing parameters.
In addition the association provides an
important check on regulatory powers, says
Cormier. "What starts with good intentions
can become a runaway train that doesn't work
for anybody. We're there to point that out."
IMPACT ON ENvIRONMENT
Harmonizing provincial recycling
programs; speaking for grocers
on new animal welfare codes of
conduct; harmonizing provincial
bans on plastic bags.
Cormier works with the Atlantic Canadian
Grocery Council to determine which issues
need to be addressed. He says the direction
grocers provide to RCC is invaluable because
grocers know the business so well-they know
how regulations can help or hinder business.
RCC is there to move an issue through government-a task that's never easy.
"If you need an issue moved from A to B,
the line is sometimes straight in business. In
government, the path will look like an Etcha-Sketch after a three-year-old has been playing with it," says Cormier.
canadian retailer | SprinG 2015
Before she became RCC's
Vice-President of Sustainability
and Quebec, Nathalie St-Pierre
Argued for a
worked as a cheese producer.
She worked closely with grocers
to get her product on shelves.
protocol to reduce
She says her early career and
costs on damaged
her current position gives her
perspective. "I have experienced all sides of the picture,"
for accuracy in
tracking of goods;
Working out of the associafought and won for
tion's Quebec office, her team,
including a staffer dedicated to
improved packthe grocery sector, fights what
St-Pierre calls "Quebec's penchant to regulate."
"Most jurisdictions, Quebec included, want to put their
own spin on issues. Our job is to simplify," she says.
One of the issues she is dealing with now is a movement
among governments to address animal welfare issues. The
challenge in Quebec, at least, is to find a way to harmonize
legislation. Quebec is looking to change the civil code for
animal welfare in ways that is different from other jurisdictions. The fragmented approach is "a challenge," St-Pierre
says. "Instead of looking at it as a provincial or national issue,
we should be looking at it as a global issue, and ideally with
The challenge that grocers face regarding animal welfare,
packaging and waste are not going away any time soon. StPierre says she believes that if RCC works these files hard,
the system can change.
"If we know where we want to be in five years, we can shape