Canada-Ontario Apple and Tender Fruit Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy Initiative

Effective January 7, 2013

Table of Contents

Definitions

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

"Agricorp" means AgriCorp, a Crown Agency established under the AgriCorp Act, 1996 (Ontario), which is responsible for the administration and delivery of the Initiative and includes any successor entity or any other entity that may become responsible for the administration and delivery of the Initiative.

"Agricorp ID" means an identification number issued by Agricorp.

"Applicant" means a Person who has applied for a Payment under the Initiative.

"Application Deadline" means on or before 11:59 pm (Eastern Standard Time) on February 28, 2013, which is the date and time after which an Application Workbook will not be accepted under the Initiative.

"Application Workbook" means the workbook that Applicants must complete and submit to Agricorp in order to be eligible to receive a Payment under the Initiative.

"Completed Application Workbook" means all sections of the Application Workbook are completed, including the Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy.

"Business Day" means any working day, Monday to Friday, inclusive, but excluding statutory holidays or other holidays on which Agricorp has elected to be closed for business.

"Canada" means Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, unless the context indicates otherwise.

"Guideline" means this document.

"Initiative" means the Canada-Ontario Apple and Tender Fruit Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy Initiative.

"Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs 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 and includes any delegate of the Minister.

"Ministry" means the Ministry of the Minister.

"Ontario" means Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario, unless the context indicates otherwise.

"Payment" means money paid out under the Initiative.

"Person" for the purposes of this Guideline includes a sole proprietor, corporation, partnership, and cooperative.

"Recipient" means a Person who receives a Payment under the Initiative.

"Tender Fruit" means apricots, cherries (sweet and sour), nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes.

"Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy" means a strategy to reduce or eliminate the impacts of adverse weather on a business operation based on consideration of the risks, the options, and an evaluation of the options that considers the specifics of the business operation.

Purpose of the Initiative

The purpose of the Initiative is to encourage apple and Tender Fruit producers to, through the provision of financial assistance, complete a Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy. This strategy should, in turn, assist apple and Tender Fruit producers to reduce potential adverse impacts caused by weather conditions in the future.

Legal Authority for the Initiative

The legal authority for the Initiative is, in part, set out in the "Bilateral Agreement to Implement Growing Forward: A Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agreement on Agriculture, Agri-Food and Agri-based Products Policy" between Canada and Ontario.

Term of the Initiative

Commencement of the Initiative

The Initiative shall commence on January 7, 2013.

End of the Initiative

The Initiative shall end on March 31, 2013. For greater certainty, the ending of the Initiative does not affect:

  1. Any audits that Agricorp, Canada or Ontario, including their delegates, may undertake; or
  2. The repayment of any debts owing under the Initiative.
Termination of Initiative

The Minister may terminate this Initiative at any time prior to March 31, 2013, and without prior notice, if the Minister determines the Initiative should not continue.

If the Minister terminates this Initiative, Agricorp shall post a notice of the Initiative's termination on Agricorp's website. For greater certainty, the termination of the Initiative does not affect:

  1. Agricorp's ability to make Payments under the Initiative, provided Agricorp received the Application Workbook by the application deadline or prior to the date of termination of the Initiative which ever is the sooner, and funding remains for the Initiative;
  2. Any audits that Agricorp, Canada or Ontario, including their delegates, may undertake; or
  3. The repayment of any debts owing under the Initiative.

Funding for the Initiative

The Initiative is part of the "Bilateral Agreement to Implement Growing Forward: A Federal-Provincial-Territorial Agreement on Agriculture, Agri-Food and Agri-based Products Policy" between Canada and Ontario. Funding for Ontario's portion of the Initiative shall come from the monies allocated to the Ministry for the purposes of the Initiative.

Payments under the Initiative are subject to the Minister providing to Agricorp any funding that is required, contemplated or permitted under the Initiative so that Agricorp can provide Payments to Recipients. The Minister may further provide any administrative costs to Agricorp that the Minister determines are reasonable or prudent for the administration of the Initiative.

Administration of the Initiative

General Administration of Initiative

The Minister is responsible for how the Initiative is administered and delivered. This includes:

  1. Establishing standards and procedures for the delivery of the Initiative;
  2. Monitoring the performance of the Initiative;
  3. Entering into an agreement with Agricorp that sets out how Agricorp is to administer and deliver the Initiative;
Administration of the Initiative

Agricorp is responsible for the administration and delivery of the Initiative. This includes:

  1. Establishing standards and procedures for the delivery of all aspects of the Initiative in addition to those set out by the Minister;
  2. Monitoring the performance of all aspects of the Initiative;
  3. Entering into an agreement with the Minister that sets out AgriCorp's responsibilities associated with the administration and delivery of the Initiative;
  4. Processing payments to Recipients by March 15, 2013;
  5. Obtaining Ministry approval for the Application Workbook for the Initiative; and
  6. (f) Carrying out all other administrative functions required for the successful operation of all aspects of the Initiative.

Amending Guideline

Agricorp may amend this Guideline, other than:

  1. The term of the Initiative or how the Initiative may be terminated;
  2. Applicable deadlines under the Initiative;
  3. Funding for the Initiative;
  4. This provision;
  5. Eligibility requirements under the Initiative;
  6. Payments under the Initiative;
  7. The provisions under the "Pre-Payment and Post-Payment Verification Under Initiative" section;
  8. The provisions under the "General Terms and Conditions of Initiative" section; and
  9. The Application Workbook.

Where this Guideline is amended, the following rules shall apply:

  1. A summary of the amendments to the Guideline will be set out on the Ministry's website;
  2. Any amendments to this Guideline shall be clearly set out;
  3. Any amendments to this Guideline shall only apply on a "go-forward" basis (i.e. they will not apply on a retroactive basis); and
  4. Any Application Workbooks filed with Agricorp prior to an amendment shall be considered based on the Guideline as it read at the time the Application Workbook was filed with Agricorp.

Eligibility Requirements Under the Initiative

General Eligibility Requirements

Each Applicant to the Initiative shall meet all of the eligibility requirements set out below in order to be eligible to participate in the Initiative. At a minimum, all Applicants shall:

  1. Be a Person;
  2. Apply to the Initiative using the Application Workbook referred to in this Guideline;
  3. Have carried on the business of farming in Ontario and reported, or will report, a gross income of at least seven thousand dollars ($7,000.00) from the sales of apples and/or Tender Fruit in the 2011 tax year for income tax purposes (unless exempt from paying income tax); or can demonstrate that they will report gross income from sales of apples and/or Tender Fruit of at least $7,000 for the first time in the 2012 or 2013 tax year;
  4. Be a resident of Ontario, if exempted from filing income tax;
  5. Unreservedly agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set out in this Guideline;
  6. Be in compliance with and remain in compliance with all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws;
  7. Continue to carry on the business of farming in Ontario and intend to report a gross income of at least seven thousand dollars ($7,000.00) from the sale of apples and/or Tender Fruit for the 2013 tax year for income tax purposes (unless exempt from paying income tax);
  8. Continue to be a resident of Ontario for 2013, if exempted from filing income tax;
  9. Provide an Agricorp ID to Agricorp;
  10. Not be or have been a federal public office holder or federal public servant who is not in compliance with the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders or the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for the Public Service; and
  11. Not be a member of the House of Commons or of the Senate.
Submission of Completed Application Workbook Under Initiative
Completed Application Workbook Required

An Applicant is required to submit a Completed Application Workbook to Agricorp.

Application Deadline

Application Workbooks must be completed and submitted to Agricorp by the Application Deadline. Application Workbooks may be delivered in person, faxed, mailed or emailed/submitted electronically to Agricorp. Application Workbooks received after the deadline will not be eligible for funding.

Applicant's Responsibility

The Applicant is responsible for ensuring that his/her/its/their Application Workbook is completed and accurate.

Applicant Must Sign Application Workbook

The Applicant must sign his/her/its/their Application Workbook, through electronic means or otherwise. Where the Applicant is a corporation, limited partnership or a cooperative, the Application Workbook must be signed by an individual that is authorized to do so on behalf of the corporation, limited partnership, or cooperative (as the case may be). If an individual signs the Application Workbook on behalf of a corporation, limited partnership or cooperative (as the case may be) without proper authorization to do so, that individual shall be deemed to have submitted the Application Workbook in his or her personal capacity and will be responsible for all amounts owed under this Initiative in his or her personal capacity. Agricorp may require proof of authorization.

Declaration of Compliance

An Applicant that signs and submits an Application Workbook to Agricorp will also be deemed to have declared that the Applicant is in compliance with all of the rules, terms and conditions of the Initiative.

Agricorp May Reject Incomplete Application Workbook

Agricorp may reject an Applicant's Application Workbook if it is incomplete and supplemental information is not received from the Applicant in the time required.

Agricorp Review of Application Workbook

Agricorp shall not consider an Application Workbook to be complete unless the Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy, which forms part of the Application Workbook, is also completed. In order for a Weather Risk Mitigation Strategy to be considered complete, it must set out:

  1. Three Weather Risks;
  2. One mitigation option per risk;
  3. One advantage and disadvantage for each mitigation option, and;
  4. Three top ranked mitigation options for implementation and the Applicant's reason for choosing each option.

Agricorp may accept a Weather Risk Management Strategy that the Applicant has previously submitted under another Ministry program, provided that the Weather Risk Management Strategy meets the requirements of this Guideline and the Applicant did not receive any form of compensation for the creation and submission of that Weather Risk Management Strategy under that other Ministry program.

Agricorp shall clearly state the minimum requirements in the Application Workbook. Agricorp's verification team shall not take a "pass or fail" approach when reviewing the Application Workbook for its completeness. Where there is insufficient information, Agricorp shall follow up with the Applicant and allow the Applicant sufficient time to submit additional information. If the Applicant fails to provide the requested information by the date(s) provided by Agricorp, Agricorp shall not approve the Application Workbook or issue a Payment to the Applicant under the Initiative,

Payments Under Initiative

Payments Under the Initiative

An Applicant who submits a Completed Application Workbook by the Application Deadline and is otherwise in compliance with the rules, terms and conditions of the Initiative may, upon verification by Agricorp, be eligible to receive a Payment under the Initiative in the following amounts, which are determined based on the confirmed gross income from the sales of apples and/or Tender Fruits in 2011:

Income From Sale of Apples/Tender Fruit in 2011 Maximum Eligible Payment
$7,000.00 to $99,999.99 $2,000.00
$100,000 to $499,999.99 $4,000.00
$500,000.00 or more $8,000.00

Applicants who can demonstrate that they will report gross income from sales of apples and/or Tender Fruit of at least $7,000 for the first time in the 2012 or 2013 tax year are eligible to receive a maximum payment of two thousand dollars ($2,000) under the Initiative. For greater certainty, if an Applicant is able to show that the Applicant is eligible to receive a higher Maximum Eligible Payment because actual sales of apples and/or Tender Fruit in the 2012 or 2013 tax year is higher than what is reported, the Applicant may receive that higher Maximum Eligible Payment, provided all other rules, terms and conditions of the Initiative have been met.

No Assignment of Payments Under Initiative

Payments under the Initiative shall not be assigned.

No Deferral of Payments Under Initiative

Payments under the Initiative shall not be deferred to a subsequent tax year.

Pre-Payment and Post-Payment Verification Under Initiative

Provision of Information

The Applicant/Recipient unreservedly agrees to provide Agricorp, or Ontario, including their authorized representatives, with any requested information within five (5) Business Days or such other time as is provided in the request.

Audits

The Applicant/Recipient unreservedly consents to any audits that Agricorp, or the Ministry, including their authorized representatives, may wish to conduct in order to verify information provided under the Initiative and/or to enforce the rules, terms and conditions of the Initiative.

Consent to Obtain Information For Payment Verification Purposes

The Applicant/Recipient unreservedly authorizes Agricorp, or the Ministry, including their authorized representatives, to obtain information from any government department, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying information provided under the Initiative and/or the eligibility of a Payment issued under the Initiative.

Consent to Disclose Information

The Applicant/Recipient unreservedly consents to Agricorp, or the Ministry, including their authorized representatives, to release information that they may have collected to any government department, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying information provided under the Initiative and/or the eligibility of a Payment issued under the Initiative.

General Terms and Conditions of Initiative

Applying to Initiative Does Not Create Legal Entitlement to Payment

The fact that an Applicant submits a Completed Application Workbook to Agricorp under the Initiative and would otherwise be eligible to receive a Payment under the Initiative does not create a legal entitlement to a Payment under the Initiative.

Payment May Be Set-Off Against Existing Debt

A Payment that an Applicant is eligible to receive under the Initiative may be set-off against any existing debt that that Applicant owes to Canada or Ontario.

Recipient Receiving Non-Eligible Payments

If a Recipient receives a Payment that he/she/it/they are not otherwise eligible to receive under the Initiative (through administrative error or otherwise), that Payment shall be deemed to be an overpayment and shall constitute a debt that is owed to Canada and Ontario.

Providing False or Misleading Information

Any Recipient that provides false or misleading information under the Initiative shall have his/her/its/their participation in the Initiative immediately terminated. Any Payments that the Recipient received under the Initiative, including those provided prior to the submission of false or misleading information, shall be deemed to be an overpayment and shall constitute a debt that is owed to Canada and Ontario.

Collection of Debts Under the Initiative

Any Recipient that receives a Payment that he/she/it/they are not eligible to receive shall repay that Payment to Agricorp. Such a debt shall constitute a debt owing to Canada and Ontario. 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.

Termination of Initiative Does Not Eliminate Debt Owing

For greater certainty, the termination of the Initiative does not, in any way, affect the obligation of a Recipient that received a Payment that he/she/it/they were not eligible to receive under the Initiative to repay that Payment to Canada and Ontario.

Use of Social Insurance Number

Agricorp may collect, use and/or disclose the Social Insurance Number of Recipient where that individual applies for and receives a Payment under the Initiative as a sole proprietor, as a partner within a partnership or as an unincorporated entity and where it is necessary for the sole purposes of tax, auditing and collection of overpayments.

Recipient Shall Count Payment as Income

A Recipient shall count any Payment that the Recipient receives under the Initiative as income under the Income Tax Act. Agricorp shall issue an AGR-1 Statement of Farm-Support Payments to the Recipient.

Registration of Lobbyists

A person lobbying, as defined under the Lobbying Act (Canada), on behalf of an Applicant or a Recipient, must be registered pursuant to the Lobbying Act (Canada). For greater clarity, the Lobbying Act (Canada) excludes from registration, among others, members of the Provincial Legislature, their staff and employees of the Government of Ontario.


Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 31 January 2013
Last Reviewed: 31 January 2013