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OFA Issues

The OFA has a strong voice advocating on behalf of OFA members and the agriculture industry on issues, legislation and regulations covered by municipal, provincial and federal governments. Learn more about the issues impacting Ontario’s 37,000 farm businesses here: OFA Issues.

Overview

Under Ontario’s Farm Implements Act matters related to equipment performance, warranties and spare parts should be brought to the attention of the Farm Implements Act Coordinator.

In Ontario, all new farm machinery purchases costing over $3,500 are protected by law in terms of warranty, safety and parts supply. This protection is provided by the Farm Implements Act. Purchases of used machinery are covered in matters relating to safety, parts supply and repairs, though they are not covered on warranty issues.

Overview

In Ontario, the primary production of food and fibre is tied to farmland. Ontario’s level of food production is tied to the capacity of farm property and the restrictions imposed on farming activities. A number of provincial statutes, policies and programs effect how farmers carry out their day-to-day day activities.

In a March 2015 survey, OFA members identified farmland rental conditions imposed by landlords on farmland they rent. Approximately 75% of OFA members surveyed said that if they owned their currently rented farmland, they would make additional productivity improvement investments to the farmland. The need for an investment in tile drainage was frequently noted.

Overview

On April 23, 2018, the Ontario government released New Horizons: Ontario’s Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy after an extensive consultation process. This Strategy sets out a detailed framework for sustainability that will guide the long-term health of agricultural soils through to 2030.

Healthy soils are a priority for farmers and critical to the sustainability of Ontario agriculture. Recognizing its importance and potential to impact the agriculture community, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), along with other industry partners and Ontario farmers were actively involved in the consultations and discussions on this complex topic. In addition to our involvement on the Strategy Working Group, we found the level of collaboration across the industry to be unprecedented.

Overview

The OFA has long supported the concept of having each farmer in the province prepare and implement a nutrient management planning strategy specific to their farm operation.

For more information, visit OMAFRA’s website on the Nutrient Management Act and Regulations.

OFA Position

OFA believes that agriculture has to be a responsible partner in the rural communities of Ontario, taking all necessary measures to protect the environment, ensuring that drinking water sources remain pure and clean, and the air is safe to breathe.

For more information, read OFA’s position on Nutrient Management

Overview

Livestock Rabies Vaccination Requirements

As of July 1, 2018, all livestock “for which a rabies vaccine licenced for use in Canada is available” shall be immunized against rabies with the exception being made for only livestock “that is accessible only to the person or persons who are responsible for the care and control of such animal”. To clarify the livestock rabies vaccination requirements for livestock producers, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided responses to questions submitted by OFA in the attached expanded Q&A document. Reasonable measures restricting the general public’s access to livestock at events such as farm tours, fall fairs, auctions, etc. can be implemented such that the exemption from the livestock vaccination requirement would apply. OFA has requested the government postpone the July 1st effective date to allow for time to amend the wording of Ontario Regulation 567.

Overview

Ontario farm businesses are required to navigate through a number of unique tax situations. From selling crops or livestock to passing the farm down to the next generation, almost every decision made by farmers has some type of tax implication. Farmers pay taxes to all three levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal) and the tax policies that governments enact has implications for farmers. OFA continues to work with all three levels of government, to ensure the government tax policies recognizes the unique structures and needs of farm businesses. The following information will guide you through the major tax policies impacting Ontario farmers, and the changes that OFA continues to advocate for.

Overview

Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act regulates everything from vehicle licensing and classifications to load restrictions and transportation issues. There are many regulations within the Highway Traffic Act that can affect the business of farming as they relate to traveling roadways with tractors, equipment and trucks. It’s the farm owner and equipment operator’s responsibility to know the rules of the road that apply to farm equipment, self-propelled vehicles, load restrictions, licensing and towing requirements.

Overview

Many policies impacting the agri-food sector are established by provincial and federal governments. But there are still plenty of decisions being made at municipal levels that can support agriculture. Land use policies, taxation and development charges, financial support and community engagement are all opportunities for municipalities to support agricultural economic development in their communities.

Municipal support is essential to agricultural economic development, and with their support, Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food businesses will continue to grow and prosper to meet the Premier’s Challenge.

OFA Position

OFA continues to work with municipal councils and organizations to ensure agriculture has a strong voice on issues, legislation and regulations covered by municipal governments.

More information related to Municipal Government on the OFA website.

Overview

The Ontario government has formally announced the process for the build of a High-Speed Rail (HSR) system for Southwestern Ontario. The recent Ontario budget provided for an $11 billion investment for Phase One, which would connect London and Toronto by 2025.

The full High-Speed Rail line would eventually be completed to Windsor for a construction cost of $21 billion. The 250 km/h train would be part of an expanded public transit system including a GO Regional Express Rail (RER) project to expand two-way service across the GO rail network. A number of GO’s current lines only operate into Toronto in the morning and return in the afternoon.

Fast, efficient and cost-effective public transportation is vital to both rural and urban Ontario. Improved rail transportation is one piece of a comprehensive, integrated transportation system for all of Ontario.

Overview

Ontario farmers constantly face livestock and crop damage from wildlife. The Ontario government’s compensation programs are important to farmers who deal with the loss of livestock and crops because of wildlife.

New guidelines were introduced in 2017 for the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. Since Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program changes came into effect on January 1, 2017, an increased number of livestock farmers have had their claims denied. Denied claims mean that farmers are left uncompensated for the losses they have suffered.

Overview

OFA along with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) identified food literacy as an important component of the National Food Strategy.

OFA is addressing the challenge of teaching healthy, lifelong food choices to today’s youth with the development of the Six by Sixteen food literacy initiative. We launched the Six by Sixteen food literacy program as part of our efforts to strengthen food literacy among Ontario’s young adults and the next generation of consumers.

Six by Sixteen is a collaborative program with more than 20 industry partners that aims to teach young people how to plan and prepare six nutritious (and locally sourced) meals by the time they are 16 years old. SixbySixteen.me is an online gateway to an extensive library of Canadian resources including how-to cooking videos, recipes and where to source local Ontario grown products. The online was created for parents, health professionals and young teens to promote local food and healthy food choices.

Overview

Property taxes are an appropriate means to raise public funds needed to finance the delivery of public services related to property. However, property taxes should not be levied to finance public services for citizens, as is currently the practice.

Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF)

The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) is the main provincial transfer to municipalities. However, as the provincial government uploads some social program responsibilities, the funding through the OMPF is being scaled back. As per the agreement with municipalities, the fund will be reduced to $505 million by 2017.

Unfortunately, the municipalities that are facing provincial transfer cuts have not benefited to the same extent from the budgetary relief offered by the provincial uploading of some social programs.

Click the link below for information on these Issues on the OFA website.

Bioeconomy

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Land Use Policy and Farmland Preservation

Wellington Federation of Agriculture

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