Designation of Agricultural Products Eligible for Production Insurance
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Crop Insurance Act (Ontario), 1996, as amended
Summary of Decision:
The Agriculture Insurance Act, 2015 [the"AIA"] was proclaimed into force on September 1, 2015. The amendments under the AIA allow the Province to offer production insurance plans for agricultural products beyond crops and perennial plants.
To support the proclamation of the AIA, a Minister's Regulation ["Regulation"] has been developed to identify all agricultural products eligible for production insurance. The Regulation came into force on September 1, 2015 and identifies all agricultural products currently covered by insurance. The Regulation also added bees (Apis Mellifera) as being eligible for production insurance. Bees were not previously eligible prior to the proclamation of the AIA.
OMAFRA remains committed to working with the agricultural sector to explore the feasibility of expanding eligibility to different agricultural products where there is demand from industry to do so.
July 2, 2015
Summary of Proposal:
On May 27, 2015, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 40, Agricultural Insurance Act (Amending the Crop Insurance Act, 1996), 2015. It received Royal Assent on May 28, 2015. The Act, when proclaimed into force, will allow the province to offer Production Insurance (PI) plans for agricultural products beyond crops and perennial plants.
PI covers farmers' production losses and yield reductions caused by insured perils, such as weather, disease and pests. PI plans are actuarially sound insurance plans, funded with premiums cost-shared by producers, the federal government and the province.
To implement the Act, a Minister's Regulation is required to designate all the agricultural products that are eligible for PI. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is proposing to designate all agricultural products currently covered by PI (see the attached list of commodities that are currently covered) with the addition of bees as the first product not previously eligible for insurance.
Implementing the Act is expected to have a number of positive impacts for both farmers and the Province, such as:
• addressing a gap in helping farmers manage their business risks by providing the Province with the authority to deliver PI plans for beekeepers, livestock producers and others who have not had access to this important risk management tool;
• helping Ontario's farmers compete with farmers in Canada and other countries, who have access to Production Insurance;
• supporting the Province's Pollinator Health Strategy, which includes a commitment to work with industry to develop long-term financial assistance options for beekeepers that experience significant bee mortalities;
• reducing the need for costly ad-hoc programming when producers experience significant production shortfalls; and
• meeting a commitment as part of the national agricultural policy framework, Growing Forward 2, to expand PI beyond crops and perennial plants.
Once proclaimed, the Act will give the Province the authority to offer Production Insurance for more types of agricultural products. OMAFRA remains committed to working with its partners in the agricultural sector to explore the feasibility of expanding eligibility to different agricultural products where there is demand from industry to do so. The proposal to add bees is a sign of the government's commitment to make PI more widely available to Ontario's farmers.
Name: Marc LaBerge
Title: Senior Policy Advisor
Branch: Farm Finance Branch
Address: 1 Stone Road West, 2nd Floor, Guelph ON N1G 4Y2
Phone: (519) 826-3212
Fax: (519) 826-4328
September 1, 2015