CFFO Commentary

Reducing Red Tape in Ontario Agriculture

As of late, the provincial government has been actively working to eliminate unnecessary red tape. The call came shortly after the Ford government won the provincial election, and their reduction efforts thus far have been given an A- rating by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in their Red Tape Report Card. Through their Open…

Cleaning up the Landscape

The recent Canadian Supreme court ruling which requires bankrupt oil companies to be held responsible for cleaning up inactive oil wells, is a welcome decision. When companies file for bankruptcy protection, paying off creditors was usually the only order of business. Now monies need to be committed to cleaning up their mess left out in…

Keeping our Eyes on the Prize: CFFO Provincial Pre-Budget Recommendations for Investing in Long-Term Sustainability

The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario has weighed in on the next provincial budget this week with three major recommendations to Finance Minister Vic Fideli: (1) to provide provincial leadership for tax reform, (2) to invest in modern planning tools that will equip the government for making decisions that can generate both prosperity and sustainable…

Can the New Food Guide Dish up Good Agri-food Policy?

The release of Canada’s Food Guide on January 22 was, predictably, followed by hot debate. The Food Guide has a long history of being contentious, and although government asserts that the newest version is based on science, which some debate, critics seem more concerned about its wider societal implications. The 2007 version was criticized as…

CFFO Policy Tour

Agriculture continues to become more sophisticated, with new technology on the horizon and science helping farmers to understand how soil, plants and nutrients all work together more and more. Then there is the understanding of long-term consequences of our actions today and how it affects next year and years later. It seems the more we…

Bill 66 – Are Natural Resource Protections “Red Tape”?

The government has introduced Bill 66 in order to reduce “red tape.” While it is hard to argue with effectively removing unnecessary reporting and compliance measures, the kind of red tape that is to be removed with schedule 10 of the Bill, has sparked much controversy. Schedule 10 relates to the amendments to the Planning…

Photo Credit: OMAFRA

Funding Farmer Mental Health

This week, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, convened a stakeholder’s roundtable on mental health challenges facing the agriculture industry. Research conducted in 2016 by University of Guelph professor Andria Jones-Bitton demonstrates that Canadian farmers experience much higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression than the general population. Roundtable participants, which…

New Year Reflections

An old Scottish proverb states that “if wishes were horses beggars would ride.” As we begin the New Year, many of us may find ourselves making wishes; wishes for health or money or happiness for the year to come. Though wishes in and of themselves are not bad, the proverb emphasizes that a wish on…

Year’s Closing

“The winds of change have begun to blow” is a popular phrase that we often hear in folklore and fairy tales. This year, as I watched the autumn winds blowing the leaves about and the changing landscape as harvest gave way to winter, I couldn’t help but think it’s an apt saying—at least when it…

The Season of Joy

If the old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is true, we must be having loads of fun. The year 2018 is almost part of history but it seems it just started. When we look back over the last 50 weeks or so, a lot has happened but not always by having fun. Planting…