CFFO Commentary

Managing Development for Everybody: Where Does the Buck Stop?

Bill 132, The Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 has been fast-tracked with standing committee hearings planned for next week. It is a tall order for any Ontarian to get a grip on the full implications of the proposals in this Bill. Eighty-three Acts are affected, ranging from the Aggregate Resources Act to…

Omnibus Bill 132: Good for Farmers?

The Government of Ontario has recently introduced Bill 132, which it calls the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. The Bill is another initiative by the province to reduce red tape. According to the press release, the bill will “simplify and modernize regulations that we need, while eliminating requirements that are outdated or…

Guarding Against Transmittable Diseases

By now everyone knows about the catastrophe caused by the African Swine Fever epidemic in Asia. Here in Canada, transmittable diseases are a constant concern for livestock farmers. Think of what one animal with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) resulted in for the beef industry. In Ontario, the swine industry is still monitoring for the Porcine…

Ontario’s Provincial Land Use Policy: Who Wins?

This week, CFFO submitted comments on government-proposed changes to Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The Provincial Policy Statement directs municipal land use planning and guides municipal land development for all of Ontario. It was last updated in 2014. This new review suggests a marked shift in priority when it comes to land use planning. Expanding…

The 2019 Federal Election: Party Platforms and Issues in Agriculture

With the federal election happening on Monday, now is an important time to review party platforms. Farmers will find that each of Canada’s leading federal parties have made promises that will affect them directly. Here, CFFO offers a very brief overview: The Conservative Party of Canada The Conservatives promise to invest in rural Canada by…

Thanksgiving: Reflections on the Harvest Celebration

We’re all familiar with the origin story of Thanksgiving in North America, when neighbouring pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated the harvest together. Here in Canada, we have a similar, though lesser known, historical Thanksgiving story. Ours features Samuel de Champlain and local Mi’kmaq. Thanksgiving was celebrated somewhat haphazardly here in Canada, until the holiday was…

Trade by Politics: Is This the “New Normal”?

2019 has thrown a few curves balls at farmers with the full impact yet to be felt. Harvests will be affected by this year’s unusual weather. Farmers selling on world markets are dealing with erratic market risks. Add to this the current debates about the authority of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to manage the…

Optimism in Northern Ontario

Last week, the small community of Verner, Ontario, along Highway 17 between North Bay and Sudbury, hosted the 102nd International Plowing Match (IPM). Along the highway toward the IPM site, involvement by community members was evident: lawns, storefronts and bridges were decorated with displays to welcome travelers. The value of community cannot be measured monetarily.…

Land Use Writ Large: Changes to Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement

Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement is currently under review. The Provincial Policy Statement directs land use planning and guides municipal development for all of Ontario. Changes to the Policy Statement will impact the future of agriculture. This September, the CFFO is focusing on the Provincial Policy Statement review during our annual Stewardship & Policy Committee series.…

Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers

As we approach the latter half of the season farmers will be busy gearing up for harvest. For those that were able to spare a day this past week, Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show offered an excellent opportunity to learn about what’s currently happening in the industry. Ontario’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program offered another excellent opportunity…