Security From Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020
The Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020 (the Act), which received Royal Assent on June 18, 2020, reinforces protections for Ontario's food supply, farmers, agri-food businesses and farm animals from the risk of trespass activities, while promoting safety and maintaining the right for people to participate in lawful protests on public property, provided such protests do not have the potential to cause harm and are conducted in a safe manner.
The Act will help further protect against the unique risks that can result when individuals trespass onto farms and agri-food processing facilities, and when they interfere with the transportation of livestock. Those risks include contaminating our food supply, creating unsafe work conditions, causing stress to animals and introducing diseases.
The protections in the Act will help to improve working conditions for farmers, farm families, and agri-food sector employees, and will allow agri-businesses to focus on important aspects of their operations including production of safe, high-quality food for Ontario families.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs consulted widely on the Minister's Regulation, needed to operationalize and administer the Act. The Ministry received, reviewed and considered over 850 public comments on the regulatory proposal through a posting on the Ontario Regulatory Registry.
Enforcement and fines
Police officers are empowered to enforce the Act. Offences will be prosecuted by Crown Attorneys and Municipal Prosecutors.
Fines of up to $15,000 for a first offence and up to $25,000 for subsequent offences can be levied under the Act, compared to a maximum of $10,000 under the Trespass to Property Act.
Amendments to Regulation 950 under the Provincial Offences Act also provides law enforcement with the option of issuing tickets under Part I of that statute. View the set fines.
Sections pertaining to livestock transport trucks
On September 2, 2020, the Ontario government brought into force sections 6, 7, 14(1) 3 and 15(1) of the Act to better protect the safety of the public, the province's food supply and livestock transporters.
Activation of these sections was necessary to reduce the dangerous action of stopping motor vehicles transporting farm animals in live traffic. These sections protect the safety of everyone - including people stopping trucks, pedestrians, livestock transporters and other drivers - since they make stopping, obstructing, hindering or otherwise interfering with a motor vehicle transporting farm animals an offence.
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