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 for Business Action Plan, the government has set a goal to reduce red tape by 25% by the year 2022. The Ford government has recently released several proposals aimed at removing regulations that they deemed unnecessary, including some for agriculture.
But not all regulatory reductions are entirely beneficial for all Ontarians. For instance, the Open-for-Business Planning bylaw in Bill 66 would have allowed developers to bypass clean water regulations and open the Greenbelt for development. For that reason, it is important that stakeholders become involved in the decision-making process and help policy makers find the regulations that may be outdated, redundant, or simply irrelevant.
Some red tape reductions that the Provincial Government has already proposed for agriculture have been widely seen as beneficial, including:
- Eliminating rabies immunization requirements for animals attending agricultural fairs that will have no public interaction.
- Reducing paperwork to establish a loan guarantee program for farmers.
- Eliminating the automatic mandatory renewal of any nutrient management strategy after five years for farmers, even if no changes have been made to the farm regarding nutrient management (for example, expanding livestock housing or manure storage).
- Changes to the Farm Business Registration process, allowing for online registration and reduced paperwork for farmers.
With a new government, we can expect a new approach to provincial policy, and for the Ford government this has come in the form of red tape reduction. So, with this enthusiasm to eliminate policies that would be considered unnecessary, why not take the opportunity to put forward new ideas to reduce unnecessary regulations in our own industry? This is exactly what the CFFO is hoping to do with the help of our members.
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario is actively working to identify unnecessary regulations in Ontario agriculture. With the current enthusiasm of the Provincial Government we have an opportunity to turn these ideas into a reality for farmers, and we are asking for input from our members. If you have any suggestions for reducing unnecessary regulations in your farming practice, please send them to the CFFO.
Josh Kraemer is Communications Intern for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKXFM Chatham, and CKNX Wingham.