AgriRisk Administrative Capacity Building Initiative - Guidelines

Effective as of November 12, 2014

Table of Contents

  1. Purpose of the Initiative
  2. Term of the Initiative
  3. Funding for the Initiative
  4. Eligibility Requirements Under the Initiative
  5. General
  6. Initiative Contact Information

For the purposes of this Initiative Guideline, the terms below shall have the following meanings:

"Agriculture Risk Management Tool" means a tool, product, or strategy that has already been developed by a Person with the purpose of reducing the exposure to unique risks faced by agricultural producers. Risks include, but are not limited to, plant or animal production risks, input price risks, output price risks or marketing transaction risks;

"Applicant" means a Person who applied to be a Recipient under the Initiative with a project proposal for an Agriculture Risk Management Tool;

"Business Day" means any working day, Monday to Friday inclusive, but excluding statutory and other holidays on which the Ministry has elected to be closed for business;

"Canada" means her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, unless the context indicates otherwise;

"Fiscal Year" means the period between April 1 of a year and March 31 of the following year;

"Initiative" means the AgriRisk Administrative Capacity Building Initiative;

"Initiative Guidelines" means this document;

"Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture and Food, or any such other Minister who may be designated from time to time as the responsible Minister in relation to the Initiative in accordance with the Executive Council Act unless the context indicates otherwise;

"Ministry" means the Ministry of Agriculture and Food or such other Ministry that has been designated as being responsible for the Initiative, unless the context indicates otherwise;

"Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act" means the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M. 16, as amended;

"OIC" means the Order in Council that provides the authority for this Initiative;

"Ontario" means Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, as represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Food, unless the context indicates otherwise;

"Payment" means the direct or indirect provision of financial assistance under the Initiative;

"Person" for the purposes of this Initiative Guideline means a not- for-profit corporation; and

"Recipient" means a Person that receives a Payment under a transfer payment agreement that is signed by the Minister or the Minister's authorized delegate under the Initiative.

Purpose of the Initiative

The purpose of the Initiative is to facilitate the initial implementation and/or initial administration of Agriculture Risk Management Tools that will address agriculture producers' needs by providing time limited government assistance.

Term of the Initiative

Commencement of Initiative

The Initiative will begin on November 22, 2013.

Termination of Initiative

The Initiative will terminate no later than March 31, 2018.

The Initiative will terminate prior to March 31, 2018 in the event there is an insufficient appropriation for the Initiative or the Ministry does not receive the necessary monies from Canada for the Initiative. Where the Initiative is terminated pursuant to this Initiative Guideline, the following rules will apply:

  1. The Minister will post a notice on the Ministry's website indicating the Initiative has been terminated and the date that it was terminated. The Initiative will be considered terminated as of the date indicated in the notice; and
  2. Any project proposal currently under investigation as of the date of termination will not be eligible for Payment if there is no appropriation for the Payment or the Ministry does not receive the necessary monies from Canada for the Payment.

The Minister may terminate this Initiative at any time if the Minister determines that the Initiative should not continue. Where the Minister terminates the Initiative pursuant to this section of this Initiative Guideline, the following rules shall apply:

  1. The Minister will post a notice on the Ministry's website indicating the Initiative has been terminated and the date that it was terminated. The Initiative will not be considered terminated until the notice required by this section of this Initiative Guideline has been complied with; and
  2. Any claims currently under investigation as of the date of termination will, if deemed to be eligible for compensation, be paid.

Funding for the Initiative

The Initiative is part of Growing Forward 2, a federal, provincial and territorial initiative. Funding under the Initiative is cost-shared between Canada and Ontario sixty (60) per cent and forty (40) per cent respectively.

The Minister may provide to any Person any funding that is required, contemplated or permitted under the Initiative.

With the exception of Payments to create a capital reserve for insurance-based programming, the maximum Payment under the Initiative per Recipient shall not exceed five million ($5,000,000) dollars per Fiscal Year. This means that a Person could be eligible for funding for one or multiple Agriculture Risk Management Tools during a Fiscal Year provided that the funding does not exceed five million dollars during that Fiscal Year.

Funding under the Initiative is limited to eligible costs that are incurred within the first (5) years a project proposal is approved or when the Initiative terminates on March 31, 2018, which ever date is earlier.

The maximum Payment to a Recipient to create a capital reserve for insurance-based programming is up to one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($1,250,000) per Agriculture Risk Management Tool under this Initiative.

Eligibility Requirements Under the Initiative

Eligibility Under the Initiative

Activities directly related to the initial implementation and/or administration of Agriculture Risk Management Tools are considered eligible for assistance under the Initiative.

At a minimum, the Person shall meet the following general eligibility requirements in order to be a Recipient under the Initiative:

  1. the Person is a Person, as defined in the Initiative Guidelines;
  2. the Person enters into a transfer payment agreement with Ontario setting out the terms and conditions under which the Person, as a Recipient, will receive funding, including that the Person agrees to be bound by the rules, terms and conditions of the Initiative, as set out in the OIC and the Initiative Guidelines. For greater certainty, the Minister may terminate a transfer payment agreement with a Recipient if that Recipient is not in compliance with the terms and conditions of the transfer payment agreement;
  3. the Person discloses all other sources of funding for the implementation of the Agriculture Risk Management Tool before any Payment is provided to the Person; and
  4. the Person has met the applicable deadline set out in the Initiative Guidelines.

For greater certainty, initial implementation and/or administration of Agriculture Risk Management Tools comprise activities that are necessary in order to make the Agriculture Risk Management Tools available to industry or to increase their adoption and availability to industry, including but not limited to:

  1. conducting consultations with prospective industry users of the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  2. developing documentation to meet licensing, certification or other requirements for the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  3. developing and delivering training to industry on the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  4. populating databases for prospective and active industry users of the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  5. developing an entity organizational structure to govern and deliver the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  6. creating delivery processes for the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  7. engaging human resource recruitment requirements to lead the personnel selection process;
  8. securing actuarial certifications;
  9. establishing and securing financial requirements to launch the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  10. securing delivery infrastructure such as office space and information technology systems or any other related activities in securing the delivery infrastructure deemed appropriate by the Minister;
  11. developing a business case to secure a delivery agent;
  12. developing Agriculture Risk Management Tool launch strategy;
  13. developing communications products and advertising related to the Agriculture Risk Management Tool;
  14. calculating the Agriculture Risk Management Tool's benefits for industry users; and
  15. creating a reserve fund for insurance-based Agriculture Risk Management Tools.

The following shall not be considered eligible for assistance under the Initiative:

  1. research and development activities and related costs for Agriculture Risk Management Tools;
  2. activities and costs related to the implementation and adoption of Agriculture Risk Management Tools that:
    1. have been funded or are being funded through other financial assistance programs offered by Canada and/or Ontario;
    2. would serve to address risks that are not a priority to industry and would not result in increased availability of Agriculture Risk Management Tools for industry; and
    3. would address risks that are insignificant and do not amount to a quantifiable threat to one or more individual farm operations.

Funding for Initiative activities shall not be used for any costs that are unreasonably incurred or are not directly related to activities that would further the implementation and/or adoption of an Agriculture Risk Management Tool. The following costs are ineligible costs:

  1. costs associated with the acquisition or leasing of land or buildings, including real estate and related costs;
  2. any costs, including taxes, for which the Recipient has received, will receive, or is eligible to receive a rebate, credit or refund;
  3. legal fees, unless the Person has obtained the prior written consent from the Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy Division to incur those legal fees and those fees are reasonable in nature;
  4. costs for sharing or distributing the results of any research and reports; and
  5. using Payments to subsidize participant contributions associated with participating in the Agriculture Risk Management Tool.

No Person shall be eligible to be a Recipient under the Initiative unless that Person meets all of the requirements set out in the OIC and the Initiative Guidelines. If the Person's project proposal is accepted by Ontario, the Person must enter into an agreement with Ontario, and funding is contingent on fulfilling all the terms and conditions of the agreement.

Project Proposal Submission Deadline

Project proposals submitted after September 30, 2017 may not be considered for funding under the Initiative.

Submission of Project Proposals

Project proposals submitted under the Initiative must contain the following information to be considered:

  1. the full legal name of the legal entity that wishes to receive funding;
  2. the purpose, goals/objectives expected to be achieved with the project;
  3. the key activities under the project as well as all milestones under these activities needed to achieve the purpose, goals/objectives;
  4. the timetable for the project, including the timetable for each of the key activities and milestones needed to achieve the purpose, goals/objectives. If the project is for more than one Fiscal Year, this should be set out for each Fiscal Year;
  5. the expected results and estimated level of industry utilizing the Agriculture Risk Management Tool(s);
  6. describing the potential knowledge gained from the project that may be applicable to other provinces and an indication if those provinces will be actively involved in the project and how;
  7. a statement that this project is not part of the normal business activities of the Applicant, signed by an official who can bind the Applicant;
  8. the plan for distribution to other provinces/territories of all intellectual property developed during the course of the project, including the method and form of such distribution;
  9. a marketing plan for the new Agriculture Risk Management Tool(s) demonstrating how it will reach the intended user groups and how participation in the new Agriculture Risk Management Tool(s) will be encouraged;
  10. demonstration that the sector identifies that the project addresses a risk to the sector and that this is a priority for the sector;
  11. a description of total funds required to complete the project broken down by Fiscal Year identifying:
    1. the amount of funding requested to carry out each of the key activities described in the project proposal;
    2. the costs by type under each of the activities;
    3. when funds are required;
    4. identification of all other sources of and amounts of funding; and
    5. a minimum of three (3) years of pro-forma financial statements related to the project;
  12. a description of the Applicant's ability to manage the proposed project and the requested funds including:
    1. the plan for allocating the appropriate resources to the project;
    2. the plan for contracting equipment and/or services to carry-out the project activities where the Applicant does not have the internal resources. This includes a list of what cannot be carried-out by Applicant staff or provided by the Applicant that is necessary to carry out the project, and the process by which the Applicant intends to procure such equipment and/or services;
    3. the plan for tracking and reporting on resource utilization and a description of the overall strategy to address unanticipated events taking into consideration the financial impacts, administrative impacts, timing impacts, and viability of the project under those circumstances; and
    4. the Applicant's governance structure that will allow it to carry out the project and manage the requested funds, including a code of conduct and ethical responsibilities for all persons at all levels of its organization, procedures to ensure its ongoing effective functioning, decision-making mechanisms, procedures to provide for the prudent and effective management of any funds provided by the Ministry, procedures to enable the successful completion of the project, and procedures to enable the preparation and delivery of all reports required.

Evaluation of a Project Proposal

The Ministry will select a team of staff to evaluate each project proposal against the Initiative eligibility requirements as set out in the Initiative Guidelines. The evaluation team may be composed of staff such as policy specialists, sector specialists, business development specialists and financial management specialists.

During the evaluation stage, the Ministry will have the ability to request in writing additional details on the project proposal from the Applicant. The Applicant will have up to fifteen (15) calendar days to provide the requested details in writing to the Ministry or in the event the details will take longer than fifteen (15) calendar days, the Ministry has the discretion to extend the fifteen (15) calendar days based on exceptional circumstances demonstrated by the Applicant.

The evaluation team will evaluate each project proposal, including the Agriculture Risk Management Tool described in the project proposal against a rating scale focusing on:

  1. whether the Applicant and the project meets all the eligibility requirements set out in these Guidelines;
  2. whether the project aligns with the purpose of this Initiative;
  3. whether the project proposal contains all the information required under the Initiative Guidelines;
  4. the likelihood of the project meeting its objectives;
  5. the transferability of a project to other provincial jurisdictions and to other sectors;
  6. whether the project is innovative;
  7. the financial and operational sustainability of the project;
  8. the project risks and the ability of the Applicant to mitigate those risks;
  9. whether the Applicant has the structure in place and ability that will allow it to carry out the project and manage project funds; and
  10. the likelihood the Project would be supported by Canada.

If the project proposal meets the eligibility criteria set out in these Guidelines, passes the evaluation stage, and it is considered by the Minster to be a project that can be supported, the Ministry will champion the project to Canada in an effort to seek Canada's approval. Note that if a project proposal is accepted for funding, there is no legal or other right to receive the specific amount of funding requested in the project proposal nor the maximum funding set out above under "Funding for the Initiative".

The Ministry will inform the Applicant in writing whether or not its project proposal meets the eligibility criteria, share a summary of the evaluation and whether or not the Ministry will champion the project proposal to Canada.

General

No Right to Receive Payment

Submitting a project proposal, including any Payment under the Initiative, does not create any legal or other right to receive a Payment under the Initiative.

Pro-Ration of Payment

Despite anything else contained in the OIC or Initiative Guideline, the Minister may pro-rate any Payment that a Person may be eligible to receive under the Initiative if such a pro-ration of the Payment is reasonable.

Recipient Receiving Payments When Not Entitled

If a Recipient receives a Payment that it is not otherwise entitled to receive under the Initiative (through administrative error or otherwise, including but not limited to knowingly providing false or misleading information under the Initiative), that debt shall be considered a debt that is owed to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario and the Recipient will be required to repay any such Payment.

Providing False Misleading Information

Any Recipient who knowingly provides or has provided false or misleading information under the Initiative shall, in addition to being required to immediately return any Payment received under the Initiative, have its participation in the Initiative terminated.

Collection of Debts Under Initiative

The Ministry will recover any debt owed to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario in a manner that is consistent with the Ministry's collections practice and in consideration of all applicable legislation and other Government of Ontario directives.

Termination of Initiative Does Not Eliminate Debt Owing

The termination of this Initiative will not, in any way, affect the obligation of a Person, including a Recipient under the Initiative who receives money under the Initiative to repay any Payments that the Person who receives money under the Initiative was not eligible to receive under the Initiative.

Initiative Guidelines Cannot Conflict With OIC

This Initiative Guideline cannot conflict with anything contained in the OIC. For the purposes of determining whether this Initiative Guideline conflicts with the OIC, a conflict will be found if this Initiative Guideline provides for something that is prohibited under the OIC or if this Initiative Guideline provides that something is not needed which is strictly required under the OIC. A conflict shall not, however, exist if this Initiative Guideline sets out additional requirements that must be followed for an Applicant to be eligible for Payment under the Initiative or the Minister is using any authority under the OIC to change certain aspects of the Initiative. In the event of a conflict between this Initiative Guideline and the OIC, the OIC will govern to the extent of that conflict.

Amending Initiative Guidelines

The Minister or delegated authority may make changes to this Initiative Guideline at any time. Where the Minister or delegated authority makes changes to this Initiative Guideline, the following rules will apply:

  1. A summary of the changes to the Initiative Guidelines will be set out on the Ministry's website;
  2. Any changes to the Initiative Guidelines will be clearly set out in the Initiative Guidelines; and
  3. Any changes to the Initiative Guidelines shall not have any retroactive effect.

Initiative Contact Information

Initiative inquires and project proposals must be directed to:
Ministry of Agriculture and Food
1 Stone Road West, Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2
Attention: AgriRisk Administrative Capacity Building Initiative


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 13 February 2014
Last Reviewed: 19 November 2014