CFFO Commentary

Pursuing Fair Federal Deals

Carbon taxes, pesticide regulations and food policy are three topics CFFO asked Minister Hardeman to take to the table at the Federal-Provincial Agriculture Ministers’ meeting this week. With “business as usual,” Canada is risking fair treatment of our farming sector and worsening trade distortions and business sustainability. Firstly, carbon taxes could raise the cost of…

Pollinator Sanctuaries on Your Farm

On July 3, the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) hosted a tour of three sites that are part of Operation Pollinator. Operation Pollinator is “an international biodiversity program from Syngenta, designed to enhance the number of pollinating insects on farms and in out-of-play areas on golf courses.” The program enabled farmers to establish…

Canada’s First Food Policy

Two weeks ago (June 17, 2019), the federal government released its first ever Food Policy for Canada. The policy will support Canada’s UN commitments to end hunger, promote good health, cut food waste, and encourage a sustainable food system. It will devote $134 million over five years (2019/20 – 2024/25) to ensure that “all people…

Changes in the World Meat Market

At the Ontario Pork Congress in Stratford last week, the mood was positive, not only among the producers but the support industry as well. Pork prices are currently high and are expected to stay that way for a significant stretch of time. Why? The African Swine Fever disaster in China, the world’s largest pork consumer.…

Excess Soil: A Cautionary Tale

This week, CFFO called on government to set higher standards for soil testing on excess soil from urban brownfields sites. Government is proposing changes in order to ease red tape for developers. CFFO has strongly supported brownfield development because it helps to protect farmland. But we are worried that loosening up the rules could harm…

The OSPCA Act Amendment: It’s a Money Matter

On June 6th, Ontario passed the OSPCA Amendment Act (Interim Period), 2019, which will fill the gap in animal welfare enforcement left by the OSPCA when it quits the ground on June 28. Previously, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones had asked the OSPCA to continue its role while government develops new legislation, but the OSPCA declined.…

Envisioning Win-Wins: Changes to the Conservation Authorities Act

Amidst much public concern, changes to the Conservation Authority (CA) Act have just received royal assent in the Legislature, as part of the much larger Bill 108: More Homes, More Choice Act. While the CA proposals seem to respond to many changes CFFO has repeatedly pressed for over many years, CFFO’s letter to several ministries…

Farming and the Ecosystem

An ecosystem is defined as “a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.” Often, agriculture is seen as disruptive to the sensitive balance of a given ecosystem. However, more and more, farmers are seeing the benefits that farming can bring to some areas, where close attention is given to maintaining a healthy balance.…

Adjusting our Care for Endangered Species

The government of Ontario has proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act, 2007, updating  it to reflect current public priorities. The changes are extensive and have drawn many responses from the public and various organizations, including the CFFO. In our response, CFFO focused on the government’s intent to “streamline approvals and provide clarity to support…

Animal Activism and Farmer Safety

The Crown’s recent decision to drop charges against an animal activist has fuelled frustration, fear, and action, in Ontario’s farming community. The activist, who video-recorded herself breaking into a barn near Lucan and stealing two pigs, belongs to a group that opposes animal agriculture. On May 1st, the crown attorney’s office in London dropped break-and-enter…