Amendment to the Regulation that Sets the Filing Date Under the Farm Business Registration Program
O. Reg. 722/93
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act
Summary of Decision:
O. Reg. 398/12 was filed on December 12, 2012 with the Registrar of Regulations. This regulation amended O. Reg. 722/93 under the FRFOFA. The amendment to O. Reg. 722/93:
- Extends the final deadline for farm businesses to apply for a FBR number and pay a fee to an accredited farm organization from August 31 to December 31; and
- Is temporary in nature in that the old filing dates would apply for the 2013 FBR Program.
The amendments will be effective on filing.
Summary of Proposal:
OMAFRA is proposing amendments to O. Reg. 722/93 that sets out the applicable deadline a farm business must meet in order to apply for a FBR number. The proposed change would extend the final deadline for farm business to apply for a FBR number and pay a fee to an accredited farm organization from August 31 to December 31, 2012. The deadline will revert to its previous date of August 31 effective January 1, 2013.
The amendment is being requested because there are currently no accredited farm organizations in Ontario. The farm organizations were not accredited by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal (Tribunal).
- 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. The government has temporarily removed the FBR number as an eligibility requirement to access certain programs. This amendment did not, however, remove the legislative requirement for farm businesses to obtain a FBR number. This has resulted in some confusion in the farming community and as a result there are approximately 2,000 farm businesses that did not apply for a FBR number before the August 31 deadline (final date to apply for a FBR number).
- 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.
- The government has recently streamlined the accreditation criteria set out in O. Reg. 723/93 to make it easier for the farm organizations to be accredited. It is anticipated that streamlining of the criteria will allow for them to be more readily accredited. Once the organizations are accredited, those farm business that did not apply for a FBR number by the August 31 deadline will be offside the legislative requirement to have a FBR number. Extending the deadline will allow these farm businesses to apply for FBR number until December 31st. Extending the deadline also allows Agricorp to continue to hold the currently pending FBR applications in abeyance pending the accreditation of one or more farm organizations (Agricorp cannot process the applications without accredited farm organizations). The amendment also gives Agricorp the legal authority to continue to hold the money and eventually flow the funds to the organizations provided they are credited by December 31st. This will help to address potential non-compliance issues since the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act (FRFOFA) requires all farm businesses that earn $7,000 or more in farm income to have a FBR number.
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December 12, 2012