2014 Beekeepers Financial Assistance Program — Guidelines

Table of Contents


Definitions

For the purposes of these Program Guidelines, the terms below shall have the following meanings:

"Acute Bee Hive Mortality Rate" means a loss of Bee Hives representing more than forty percent (40%) of the Beekeeper's Bee Hive inventory, as set out in the 2014 calendar year certificate of registration issued by the Provincial Apiarist pursuant to the Bees Act;

"AgriCorp" means the corporation established under the AgriCorp Act, 1996, S.O. 1996, c. 17, schedule A, as amended, which is also the corporation responsible for delivering the Program;

"AgriCorp ID" means an identification number issued by AgriCorp;

"Applicant" means a Person that has applied for financial assistance under the Program;

"Auditor" includes an Inspector;

"Beekeeper" means a Person who owns or is in possession of Bees or Beekeeping Equipment, but does not include a person who is in possession of new Beekeeping Equipment for the purpose of transportation, distribution or sale or who is a manufacturer of Beekeeping Equipment;

"Beekeeping Equipment" means Bee Hives, parts of Bee Hives and utensils used in the keeping of Bees;

"Beekeeper Identification Number" means an identification number issued by the Provincial Apiarist;

"Bee Hive" means an individual honey bee colony that has a single queen and multiple honey bees, mating colony or queen bank;

"Bees" means the insects known as Apis mellifera;

"Bees Act" means the Bees Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. B. 6, as amended;

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

"Crown" means Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario;

"Damage Report" means verbal notice given by the Applicant to AgriCorp of damage to their bees or beehives. Damage must be reported to AgriCorp as soon as it occurs.

"Delegate" includes an Inspector or an AgriCorp employee;

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

"In-season Losses" means bee losses incurred during the time period from April 1, 2014 to October 31, 2014.

"Inspector" means an individual appointed under the Bees Act;

"LGIC" means the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

"Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture and Food or such other Minister who may be designated from time to time as the responsible Minister in relation to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act or the Program, as the case may be, in accordance with the Executive Council Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E. 25, as amended, unless the context indicates otherwise;

"Ministry" means the ministry of the Minister;

"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 Order-in-Council 735/2014;

"Ontario" means the Province of Ontario, unless the context indicates otherwise;

"Over-winter Losses" means bee losses incurred during the time period from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014.

"Overpayment" means any Payment to which the Recipient is not entitled to receive at the time of the Payment or to which the Recipient ceases to be entitled to receive at any time after the Payment was made;

"Payment" means the provision of money to a Recipient under the Program;

"Person" means a legally-recognized entity;

"Premises Identification" means the assignment of one unique Premises Identification number based on national standards to a single land parcel that has been registered, characterized and validated;

"Proof of Loss" means the written notice given by the Applicant to AgriCorp setting out a claim under the Program. The Proof of Loss shall be on a form approved by AgriCorp.

"Program" means the Beekeepers Financial Assistance Program, as established by the OIC;

"Program Guidelines" means this document;

"Provincial Apiarist" means the individual appointed as such under the Bees Act;

"Recipient" means a person who received financial assistance under the Program; and

"Requirements of Law" includes all applicable requirements of law, as may be set out in statutes, regulations, by-laws, codes, rules, ordinances, official plans, approvals, permits, licenses, authorizations, decrees, injunctions, orders and declarations or any other similar requirement of law that could be imposed on a person from authorities that have jurisdiction over that Person.


Purpose of the Program

The purpose of the Program is to provide financial assistance to eligible Applicants that have experienced an Acute Beehive Mortality Rate between January 1, 2014 and October 31, 2014.


Administration of the Program

The Minister's Roles and Responsibilities Under the Program

Minister Amending Program Guidelines

The Minister may make changes to these Program Guidelines. Where the Minister amends the Program Guidelines, the following rules shall apply:

  1. A summary of the changes to the Program Guidelines shall be made available on or through the Ministry's website or through the website or a third party selected to deliver the Program;
  2. Any changes shall be clearly set out in the Program Guidelines;
  3. The summary of changes to the Program Guidelines and the updated Program Guidelines shall be made available on or through the Ministry's website or a third party selected to deliver the Program; and
  4. Any changes to the Program Guidelines shall not have any retroactive effect.

Third Party Responsibility Under the Program

The Program shall be delivered by AgriCorp in cooperation with the Ministry.

Eligibility Requirements Under the Program

Bee Hive Mortality

For Over-winter Losses, Bee Hive mortality is defined as a colony that is dead or cannot be considered viable for production in the upcoming season. Either all individual Bees in the colony are dead or fewer than three active frames remain. A frame is considered active if it is at least 75 per cent covered by active Bees on each side.

For In-season Losses, Bee Hive mortality (full sized or nucleus colony) has occurred if:

  1. More than 100 dead and dying Bees are documented in the vicinity of the hive and associated with a loss in colony production (Bees, brood or honey crop); and/or
  2. The Beekeeper had to replace the queen in an individual colony two or more times (in the current season); and/or
  3. At least 30 per cent of the individual Bees in the bottom two boxes of the colony have been lost. The bottom two boxes may be two brood chambers or the brood chamber and honey super.

Definitions:

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

Brood chamber: The area of the honey bee colony where the queen is maintained and where the brood is stored and reared. Beekeepers in Ontario may have one or two brood chambers with Bees depending on their management practices.

Honey super: The area of the colony where the Bees store honey. Typically this is above the brood chamber. If the colony is managed as a single brood chamber then many of the Bees will also be in the first honey super.

Nucleus colony: A partial or starter colony. Typically consists of three frames of Bees, a frame of honey, and at least one frame of brood (usually two) and a single queen.

Mating nucleus: A small colony used for mating of a queen.

Honey Bee Queen: The caste of honey bee that lays eggs and regulates the development of the honey bee colony. Honey bee queens can be mated or unmated, and from specialized breeder stock.


Program Processes

For beginning Beekeepers, a Program application must be submitted to AgriCorp within ten (10) Business Days of registering with the Provincial Apiarist for the 2014 calendar year, and no later than October 31, 2014. For greater clarity, a beginning Beekeeper is a Beekeeper that did not own or was not in possession of Bee Hives in the 2013 calendar year and has purchased Bee Hives on or after April 1, 2014 and no later than October 31, 2014.

Applicants that own or are in possession of Bee Hives in the 2013 calendar year shall apply to AgriCorp by June 20, 2014 in order to be considered eligible for a Payment under the Program.

  1. To be considered for funding for Over-winter Losses, Proof of Loss (accompanying the application form) must be submitted to AgriCorp by June 20, 2014.
  2. To be considered for In-season Losses, a Damage Report must be filed with AgriCorp as losses occur by contacting AgriCorp and a Proof of Loss shall be submitted to AgriCorp by November 21, 2014.
  3. Damage Reports and Proof of Loss statements may be subject to inspection by a Delegate and to audits, all in accordance with the section "Inspections, General Reporting and Audits under the Program" below.

For greater clarity, an Applicant that owned or was in possession of Bee Hives in the 2013 calendar year but did not experience sufficient Over-winter Losses to initially qualify for a Payment shall apply to Agricorp by June 20, 2014. These Over-winter Losses will be considered in the calculation of a Payment in combination with any In-season Losses.

General Eligibility Requirements

At a minimum, all Applicants shall meet the following eligibility criteria in order to be eligible under the Program:

  1. Be a Person;
  2. Apply to the Program using the approved application form;
  3. Agree to be bound by the requirements of the OIC and the Program Guidelines;
  4. Be in compliance with and remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law while the Program remains in effect;
  5. Agree to fully cooperate in any inspections that may be initiated in relation to the Program;
  6. Have a Beekeeper Identification Number issued by the Provincial Apiarist;
  7. Have an AgriCorp ID issued by AgriCorp upon registration of the Applicant if the Applicant does not already have an AgriCorp ID;
  8. Have a certificate of registration issued by the Provincial Apiarist under the Bees Act for the 2014 calendar year;
  9. Own a minimum of ten (10) Bee Hives that have been registered with the Provincial Apiarist for the 2014 calendar year;
  10. Sign an attestation indicating that they have followed proper beekeeping practices in relation to their Bees and that the Bee mortality is not caused by wildlife damage, vandalism, intentional death or negligence;
  11. Agree to fully cooperate in any audits that may be initiated in relation to the Program should the Applicant receive a Payment; and
  12. Have a Premises Identification number or a confirmation letter provided by the Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario unless a Premises Identification number is not available in that particular area;

Notwithstanding anything contained in these Program Guidelines, the following types of Bee mortalities shall not be eligible for financial assistance under the Program:

  1. Wildlife damage;
  2. Vandalism;
  3. Intentional death; and
  4. Negligence.

Payments Under the Program

  1. The maximum amount an Applicant shall be eligible to receive per Bee Hive under the Program is one hundred and five dollars ($105.00).
  2. An existing Beekeeper that has applied for funding under the Program is eligible to receive a Payment for a maximum of one hundred and sixty per cent (160%) of total Bee Hives in the Beekeeper's possession as of the Fall of 2013 and as is reported on the Beekeeper's 2014 Beekeeper registration, as required under the Bees Act.
  3. A beginning Beekeeper that has applied for funding under the Program is eligible to receive a Payment for a maximum of sixty percent (60%) of total Bee Hives reported on the Beekeeper's 2014 Beekeeper registration, as required under the Bees Act.
  4. Payments shall be calculated based on the following formula:

    ((total Bee Hive mortalities - (total Bee Hives x 0.4 [Acute Bee Hive Mortality Rate])) x $105) - (total Payments issued and pending)

  5. Notwithstanding anything else in these Program Guidelines, no Applicant shall receive more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) in total Payments.
  6. An Acute Bee Hive Mortality Rate must have occurred in Ontario to be eligible for Payment.

Inspections, General Reporting and Audits Under the Program

  1. An Applicant or Recipient consents to any inspection that may be conducted in relation to the Program, provided such inspection takes place between sunrise and sunset. This includes allowing access to any person, place or thing required for inspection purposes upon request. For greater certainty, these inspections may be conducted by the Minister or AgriCorp, including their respective Delegates.
  2. An Applicant or Recipient shall provide reasonable assistance during any inspection that is conducted under this Program. This includes allowing access to any person, place or thing required for inspection purposes upon request.
  3. A Recipient consents to any audits that may be conducted in relation to any Payments or for the enforcement of the rules, terms and conditions of the Program. For greater certainty, these audits may be conducted by the Minister or AgriCorp, including their respective Delegates.
  4. A Recipient shall provide reasonable assistance to any Auditor conducting an audit under the Program. This includes allowing access to any person, place or thing required for auditing purposes within ten (10) Business Days of the request being made unless more time has been provided in the request.
  5. A Recipient shall provide all necessary information required to verify and administer the Program within ten (10) Business Days of the request being made by the Minister or AgriCorp, including their respective Delegates, unless more time has been provided in the request. A Recipient shall provide records of any in-season purchases made that materially changes their liability.
  6. A Recipient shall retain all records relating to any Payments that that Recipient received for a period of at least seven (7) years from the date in which the Payment was received.
  7. An Applicant or Recipient authorizes the Minister or AgriCorp, including their respective Delegates, to obtain information from any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying the eligibility of any Payment or any other information that the Applicant or Recipient has provided.
  8. An Applicant or Recipient consents to the Minister or AgriCorp, including their respective Delegates, to release information that they may have collected to any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying the eligibility of any Payment, or any other information that the Applicant or Recipient has provided.

Term of the Program

Commencement of Program
The Program will begin on May 1, 2014

Termination of Program
The Program will terminate on March 31, 2017 unless terminated earlier for the reasons below.

The Program will terminate in the event there is an insufficient appropriation by the Ontario Legislature for a Payment that is to be made under the Program. Where the Program terminates pursuant to an insufficient appropriation, the following rules shall apply:

  1. The Minister shall post a notice on the Ministry's website indicating that the Program has been terminated and the date that it was terminated; and
  2. Any outstanding payments under the Program as of the date of termination shall not be paid.

The LGIC may terminate this Program at any time if the LGIC determines that the Program should not continue. Where the LGIC terminates the Program due to the LGIC's determination that the Program should not continue, the following rules shall apply:

  1. The Minister shall post a notice on the Ministry's website indicating the Program has been terminated and the date that it was terminated by the LGIC. The Program shall not be considered terminated until the notice has been complied with; and
  2. Any outstanding payments owing under the Program as of the date of termination shall, if they are otherwise eligible, be paid.

General Terms and Conditions of the Program

Applying to Program Does Not Create Legal Entitlement to Payment

The fact that an Applicant submits an application form to AgriCorp under the Program and would otherwise be eligible to receive a Payment under the Program does not create a legal entitlement to a Payment.

Recipient Shall Count Payment as Income
A Recipient shall count any Payment that the Recipient receives under the Program as income under the Income Tax Act. AgriCorp shall issue an AGR-1 Statement of Farm-Support Payments to the Recipient. The payments under the Program shall be considered eligible income for AgriStability if a Recipient is a participant of AgriStability.

No Assignment of Payment Without Minister's Consent
No Recipient shall assign any Payments that the Recipient receives without the Minister's prior written consent.

Payment May Be Set-Off Against Existing Debt
A Payment that an Applicant is eligible to receive under the Program may be set-off against any existing debt that that Applicant owes to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada or the Crown in accordance with section 43 of the Financial Administration Act.

Termination of Program Does Not Eliminate Debt Owing
For greater certainty, the termination of the Program does not, in any way, affect the obligation of a Recipient that received a Payment that the Recipient not eligible to receive under the Program to repay that Payment to Canada and Ontario.

Providing False or Misleading Information
Any Recipient that knowingly provides or has provided false or misleading information under the Program shall have his/her/its/their participation in the Program terminated. Any Payments that the Recipient received shall be deemed to be an Overpayment and shall be payable immediately upon demand.

Recipient Receiving Overpayment May Be Set-Off
If a Recipient receives an Overpayment, that Overpayment shall be considered a debt that is owed to the Crown and may be set-off against any other payment the Crown and/or Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada may owe to the Recipient under any other provincial program.

Right Of Set-Off Is In Addition To Other Remedies
The Crown's right of set-off is in addition to any other legal remedies the Crown may have in law, equity or otherwise to recover any debt the Recipient owes as a result of receiving funding under the Program.

Collection of Debts Under the Program
Any Recipient that receives an Overpayment shall repay that Payment to AgriCorp. Such a debt shall constitute a debt owing to the Crown. AgriCorp shall recover this debt in a manner that is consistent with the Ministry's collections practice and in consideration of all applicable Acts and other Government of Ontario directives. This includes the collection of interest on the debt at the applicable interest rates charged.

Use of Social Insurance Number
The Minister or AgriCorp, including their respective Delegates, may collect, use and/or disclose a Recipient's Social Insurance Number where that individual operates a business as a sole proprietor or operates within a partnership as an unincorporated entity for tax, auditing and collection purposes.

Notice Regarding Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996
Payments under this Program may count toward determining whether a Recipient must disclose the salary of its employees who earn more than $100,000.00 for the purposes of the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, 1996, S.O. 1996, c. 1, schedule A, as amended, if the Recipient is a not-for-profit corporation or otherwise does not carry on its activities for the purpose of gain or profit to its members or shareholders.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author:
Creation Date: 16 May 2014
Last Reviewed: 16 May 2014