Amendment to the Regulation Governing the Accreditation of Farm organizations Under the Farm Business Registration Program
O. Reg. 723/93
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act
Summary of Decision:
O. Reg. 363/12 was filed on November 15, 2012 with the Registrar of Regulations. This regulation amended O. Reg. 723/93 under the FRFOFA. The amendment to O. Reg. 723/93:
- Streamlines the eligibility criteria that farm organizations have to meet to be accredited;
- Contains a transitional provision that would allow the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal) to apply the new criteria to existing applications; and
- Are temporary in nature in that the old eligibility requirements come back into force in one year.
The regulation became effective on November 22, 2012.
Summary of Proposal:
OMAFRA, is proposing amendments to O. Reg. 723/93 that governs the FBR Program. The proposed changes would streamline the eligibility criteria for farm organizations (i.e. the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) and the National Farmers Union- Ontario (NFU-O)) to be accredited. The proposed regulatory amendment would have a transitional provision that would allow the Tribunal to apply the new criteria to existing applications. Finally, the proposed amendments are temporary in nature in that the old eligibility requirements come back into force in one year.
The amendment is being requested because there are currently no accredited farm organizations in Ontario. The farm organizations were not accredited by the Tribunal primarily because of issues they were encountering around what constitutes a member.
The Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act (FRFOFA) requires farm businesses to pay a fee to an accredited farm organization to obtain a FBR number. Because there are no accredited farm organizations, Ontario's farm businesses were not able to access certain programs that require a FBR number, although OMAFRA addressed this issue by removing the requirement that a farm business have a FBR number to access OMAFRA's programs for 2012. Additionally, the farm organizations have lost their guaranteed funding until they are accredited. FBR fees are the main source of operating revenues used to support the work of the farm organizations.
Streamlining of the eligibility criteria will address the membership issue while at the same time allowing the farm organizations transitional time to meet the Tribunal's clarification of what membership means. This will ensure that farm organizations receive the funding required to provide services to Ontario farmers. This is the policy intent of the FRFOFA.
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November 22, 2012