Minister's Order: Northern Livestock Pilot Program

Whereas Northern Ontario offers significant potential for agricultural expansion with increasing land productivity from longer growing seasons and warmer temperatures, land drainage improvements, new technologies and crop varieties, and comparatively low land prices;

And whereas the Government of Ontario has committed to expanding the sector in Northern Ontario and has mandated the Minister to work with other ministers on an initiative to expand livestock in Ontario's Great Clay Belt;

And whereas enabling industry-led initiatives to explore the potential in Northern Ontario could help pilot climate adaptation measures to support diversifying the Northern Ontario economy, First Nations and Métis economies and regional food systems, and expanding the Livestock sector in an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable manner;

And whereas section 4 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act provides the Minister with the authority in relation to the administration of laws relating to agriculture, food and rural affairs and all of their branches;

And whereas subsection 6.2 (1) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act provides the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs with the authority to establish programs for the encouragement of agriculture, food and rural affairs within Ontario;

And whereas such a program should be established for the encouragement of agriculture in Ontario;

Now therefore and pursuant to subsection 6.2 (1) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act a program to be known as the

Northern Livestock Pilot Program

is hereby established for the encouragement of agriculture in Northern Ontario, including the encouragement of Livestock production and food processing.

Part I - Interpretation

Interpretation

  1. For the purposes of interpreting this Order:
    1. Words in the singular include the plural and vice versa;
    2. Words in one gender include all genders;
    3. The headings do not form part of this Order. They are for reference purposes only and will not affect the interpretation of this Order;
    4. Any reference to dollars or currency in this Order will be to Canadian dollars and currency;
    5. Any reference to a statute means a statute of the Province of Ontario, unless otherwise indicated;
    6. Any reference to a statute is to that statute and to the regulations made pursuant to that statute as they may be amended from time to time and to any statute or regulations that may be passed that have the effect of supplanting or superseding that statute or regulation unless a provision of this Order provides otherwise; and
    7. The words "include", "includes" and "including" denote that the subsequent list is not exhaustive.

Definitions

  1. For the purposes of this Order,

    "Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario" means a corporate body under the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario Act R.S.O. 1990, c. A.13;

    "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;

    "Fiscal Year" means the period commencing on April 1 of a year through March 31 of the following year;

    "Land Assembly" means the Land Assembly component of the Program, as set out in Part II of this Order;

    "Livestock" means farm animals, including poultry and bees, regarded as an asset;

    "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 this Program in accordance with the Executive Council Act unless the context indicates otherwise;

    "Ministry" means the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and includes a successor entity;

    "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;

    "Northern Ontario" means the following Northern Ontario districts: Algoma District, Cochrane District, Kenora District, Manitoulin District, Nipissing District, Parry Sound District, Sudbury District, Thunder Bay District, and Timiskaming District;

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

    "Order" means this Minister's Order, as amended from time to time;

    "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 funding under the Program;

    "Person" for the purposes of this Order means an individual or a corporation;

    "Pilot Study Area" means the geographic area between Cochrane and Hearst along highway 11 and within the municipal boundaries of the municipalities of Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, Fauquier-Strickland, Moonbeam, Kapuskasing, Val Rita-Harty, Opasatika, Mattice-Val-Cotè, and Hearst;

    "Program" means the "Northern Livestock Pilot Program";

    "Program Administrator" means the Manager responsible for the Northern Livestock Pilot in the Ministry, except where the applicable Ministry's Financial Delegation of Authority, the applicable Ontario Public Service Directives or applicable laws require a different signing authority in which case that signing authority will be the Program Administrator for those purposes;

    "Project" means an undertaking approved under the Program;

    "Recipient" means a Person that receives a Payment under this Program;

    "Requirements of Law" means all applicable statutes, regulations, by-laws, ordinances, codes, official plans, rules, approvals, permits, licences, authorizations, orders, decrees, injunctions, directions and agreements with all authorities that now or at any time hereafter may relate to the Project;

    "Research and Demonstration Activities" means the Research and Demonstration Activities component of the Program, as set out in Part II of this Order;

    "Resource Development and Knowledge Transfer" means the Resource Development and Knowledge Transfer component of the Program, as set out in Part II of this Order;

    "TPA" means a transfer payment agreement that, depending upon the context, is entered into:

    1. Between the Minister, or the Minister's authorized delegate, and a Recipient, or
    2. Between a Recipient and an Ultimate Recipient; and

    "Ultimate Recipient" means a Person who receives a Payment from a Recipient.

Part II - Purposes, Content and Term of the Program

Purposes

  1. The purposes of the Program are:
    1. to develop the Livestock sector in Northern Ontario in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable manner;
    2. to enhance economic opportunities, strengthen regional food systems, and improve food security for the benefit of all Ontarians; and
    3. to do such other things as are commensurate with the preceding purposes.
  2. The Program will consist of the following Components:
    1. Land Assembly, which will involve:
      1. seeking the disposition of Crown lands for the purpose of establishing Livestock production and carrying out Research and Demonstration Activities on a limited number of parcels of land in the Pilot Study Area; and
      2. working with municipalities in Northern Ontario to identify, market and develop private lands suitable for agriculture, and to facilitate the development of the agricultural sector in their respective municipalities;
    2. Research and Demonstration Activities, which will involve conducting research and demonstration activities to understand the environmental, social and economic implications of expanding Livestock production in Northern Ontario; and
    3. Resource Development and Knowledge and Technology Transfer, which will involve:
      1. developing information resources, best management practices and conducting knowledge and technology transfer activities related to expanding Livestock production in Northern Ontario; and
      2. promoting industry-wide access to innovative tools, technologies, resources, knowledge and information to help expand Livestock production in Northern Ontario.

Commencement 

  1. The Program will commence on the day this Order is signed.

Termination 

  1. The Program will terminate on December 31, 2025.
  2. Despite anything else contained in this Order, the Program will automatically terminate in the event there is an insufficient appropriation from the Legislature for any payment that is to be made under the Program. Where the Program is terminated pursuant to this section of this Order, the following rules will apply:
    1. The Program Administrator will post a notice on the Ministry's website where a copy of this Order is posted indicating that the Program has been terminated and the date that the Program was terminated. This Program will be considered terminated as of that date;
    2. The Program Administrator will immediately provide notice of the termination to any third party that is delivering a part of the Program and cause that third party to post a notice on its website indicating that the Program has been terminated and the date that it was terminated. The Program shall be considered terminated as of the date indicated in the notice; and
    3. Any payments otherwise due under this Program for which there is no appropriation will not be paid.
  3. Despite anything else contained in this Order, this Program may be terminated at the Minister's discretion through the issuance of a Minister's Order terminating the Program. Where a Minister's Order is issued terminating this Program, the following rules will apply:
    1. The Program Administrator will post a notice on the Ministry's website where a copy of this Order is posted, along with a copy of the Minister's Order terminating this Program, indicating that the Program has been terminated and the date that this Program was terminated;
    2. The Program Administrator will immediately provide notice of the termination to any third party that is delivering a part of the Program and cause that third party to post a notice on its website indicating that the Program has been terminated and the date that it was terminated. The Program shall be considered terminated as of the date indicated in the notice; and
    3. Any payments owing under this Program will be paid, unless the Minister's Order terminating this Program provides otherwise.

Part II - Funding

  1. Funding for this Program will be from the monies allocated to the Ministry by the Legislature. The Program Administrator may provide to any Person any funding that is contemplated or permitted under the Program. The Program Administrator may pay for any administrative costs that the Program Administrator determines are reasonable or prudent for the administration of this Program.
  2. Any Funding allocated by the Legislature to this Program will only be used for the Program and the costs of administering the Program.

Part IV - Administration of the Program

Program Administrator

  1. The Program Administrator is delegated the responsibility for the administration and delivery of the Program. This includes:
    1. Establishing standards and procedures for the delivery of all aspects of the Program;
    2. Monitoring the performance of all aspects of the Program;
    3. Approving anything that needs to be approved for this Program; and
    4. Carrying out all other administrative functions required for the successful operation of the Program. 
  2. If the Program Administrator enters into an agreement with a third-party to deliver a part of the Program, that agreement will include, at a minimum, the following:
    1. The roles and responsibilities for the Program Administrator and the third-party;
    2. The money that the third-party will receive for delivering a part of the Program;
    3. Performance measures, if applicable and appropriate;
    4. Reporting and audit requirements; and
    5. Provisions for corrective action to address any events of default by the third-party.
  3. When delivering any part of the Program, a third-party will do so in compliance with all Requirements of Law.

Exercise of Administrative Powers 

  1. The Program Administrator has all necessary authority to deliver the Program.
  2. When exercising any powers granted under or complying with the requirements set out in this Order, the Program Administrator shall do so in compliance with all applicable Requirements of Law.
  3. Where the Program Administrator has selected a third party to deliver the a part of the Program, the Program Administrator shall require the third party to deliver that part of the Program in compliance with all applicable Requirements of Law, including the requirements set out in this Order.

Part V - Transfer Payment Agreements

  1. Without limiting the Program Administrator's general administrative authority under Part IV of this Order, the Program Administrator may under that authority enter into a TPA with any legal entity for the purposes of:
    1. Delivering the Program, including its operational control; and
    2. Contributing to the purposes of the Program.
  2. The Minister, through the Program Administrator, shall determine the terms and conditions of any TPA that the Minister may enter into under the Program, provided that the general terms and conditions for the TPA fulfill all requirements set out under the Government of Ontario's Transfer Payment Accountability Directive, as amended, as well as other applicable Government of Ontario directives.
  3. For greater certainty, the Minister, through the Program Administrator, may terminate a TPA with a Recipient if that Recipient is in non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the TPA the Recipient entered into with the Minister.

Part VI - Assisting, Information Sharing and Consultation

  1. Without limiting the Program Administrator's general administrative authority under Part IV of this Order, the Program Administrator may under that authority engage in the following activities to support delivery of the Program and to contribute to the purposes of the Program:
    1. Sharing information and consulting with Aboriginal Persons, communities or groups that may have an interest in the Program, or may be affected by the Program;
    2. Carrying out the duty to consult, and where appropriate, accommodation, with Aboriginal communities to whom the Crown owes a duty to consult in relation to the Program;
    3. Sharing information with and consulting with Persons or groups that may have an interest in, or be affected by, the Program, including but not limited to land users, such as sustainable forestry license holders, snowmobile clubs, hunting camps, environmental non-governmental organizations, mining and prospector stakeholders, municipalities, and agricultural organizations;
    4. providing assistance to Persons or groups, including municipalities and potential Livestock producers, seeking to establish Livestock production in Northern Ontario;
    5. providing assistance to the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario in the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario's applications to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the disposition of Crown lands for the purpose of establishing Livestock production and Research and Demonstration Activities on a limited number of parcels of land in the Pilot Study Area, including but not limited to assistance with:
    6. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Class Environmental Assessment for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects process;
    7. The application for Crown land use policy amendments; and
    8. Acting as a liaison between the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario and provincial ministries that may have an interest in the Program.

Part VII - Agreements

  1. Without limiting the Program Administrator's general administrative authority under Part IV of this Order, the Program Administrator may under that authority enter into an agreement with any legal entity for the purposes of:
    1. Delivering the Program, including with respect to such matters such as: procurement, economic development, education, skills development, consultation with Aboriginal communities or groups; and
    2. Contributing to the purposes of the Program.
  2. The Minister, through the Program Administrator, shall determine the terms of the agreement(s) that the Minister may enter into under the Program pursuant to this Part VII.

Part VIII - Advisory Bodies

  1. Without limiting the Program Administrator's general administrative authority under Part IV of this Order, the Program Administrator may under that authority establish one or more advisory bodies to provide non-binding advice on administering and delivering the Program.

Part IX - Audits Under the Program

Consent 

  1. A Person that applies to the Program shall consent to any audits that may be conducted in relation to the Program as a condition of funding, so that any claims for Payment can be verified or for the enforcement of the terms and conditions of the Program. The Person shall further consent to the provision of all necessary information required to verify and administer the Program.
  2. A Person that applied to the Program shall be required to provide reasonable assistance to any auditor conducting an audit under the Program as a condition of funding. This includes allowing access to any person, place or thing required for auditing purposes.
  3. As a condition of funding, a Person that applied to the Program shall authorize the Program Administrator or third-party delivering the Program, including their respective delegates, to obtain information from any government department/ministry, agency or third party and to use it for the purposes of verifying the eligibility of any Payment that may be provided under the Program or any other information that that Person has provided under the Program.
  4. As a condition of funding, a Person that applied to the Program shall consent to the Program Administrator or third-party delivering the Program, 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 that may be provided under this Program or any other information the Person has provided under the Program.

Part X - General

  1. An application to the Program for a Payment shall not create a legal or other right to any Payment under the Program.
  2. Payments under the Program may be pro-rated.
  3. A Recipient shall not assign any Payments made under the Program to a third person without first obtaining the prior written authorization of the Program Administrator.
  4. Any Payment a Person may be eligible to receive under the Program may be set off against any existing debt that that Person owes to the Crown. The right of set off is in addition to any other legal remedies that Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario may have at law, equity or otherwise to recover any debt that a Person may owe to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario as a result of that Person receiving a Payment (through administrative error or otherwise) under this Program that that Person was not otherwise eligible to receive.
  5. The termination of the Program will not, in any way, affect the obligation of a Recipient of the Program to repay any outstanding amounts owing to the Crown under the Program.
  6. Any Person that willfully provides false or misleading information under the Program shall have their participation in the Program immediately terminated. Any Payments that the Person received under the Program, including those provided prior to the submission of the false or misleading information, shall be deemed to be an Overpayment and shall constitute a debt that is owed to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario payable immediately upon demand.
  7. A Person that provides false or misleading information or was negligent with respect to the provision of information submitted under this Program will not be eligible to continue to participate in the Program, unless the Minister deems it appropriate to reinstate them.
  8. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario may charge interest on the debt that a Person owes as a result of receiving a Payment (through administrative error or otherwise) that that Person was not otherwise eligible to receive at the applicable interest rate that is charged by Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario.
  9. Funding for this Program is being provided in connection with a social and economic policy and this Program is considered to be a social or economic program.

Part XI - Collection of Debt/Overpayments

Collection of Debts from a Recipient

  1. Any Payment a potential Recipient may be eligible to receive under any initiative within the Program may be set off against any existing debt that that Person owes to Canada or Ontario.
  2. If a Recipient receives a Payment, or part thereof, from the Crown through administrative error or otherwise, that that Recipient was not otherwise entitled to receive under an initiative, that Payment, or part thereof, shall be deemed to be an overpayment and shall constitute a debt that is owed to Canada and Ontario payable immediately by the Recipient upon demand.
  3. For greater certainty, the termination of the Program does not, in any way, affect a Recipient's obligation to repay the Payment that that Recipient received from the Crown, through administrative error or otherwise, under the Program if that Recipient was not eligible to receive that Payment to begin with.
  4. The right of set off is in addition to any other legal remedies that Canada or Ontario may have at law, equity or otherwise to recover any debt that a Recipient may owe to Canada or Ontario as a result of that Recipient receiving a Payment, through administrative error or otherwise, under any initiative within the Program that that Recipient was not otherwise eligible to receive.

Collection of Debts from Ultimate Recipients

  1. A Recipient shall be required to collect any debts arising from an Ultimate Recipient receiving a Payment, or part thereof, from the Recipient, through administrative error or otherwise, that that Ultimate Recipient was not otherwise eligible to receive under the initiative.
  2. For greater certainty, the termination of the Program does not, in any way, affect a Recipient's obligation to collect any debts arising from an Ultimate Recipient receiving a Payment, or part thereof, from the Recipient, through administrative error or otherwise, that that Ultimate Recipient was not otherwise eligible to receive under the initiative.
  3. If an Ultimate Recipient receives a Payment, or part thereof, from the Recipient through administrative error or otherwise, that that Ultimate Recipient was not otherwise eligible to receive under an initiative, that Payment, or part thereof, shall be deemed to be an overpayment and shall constitute a debt that is owed by the Ultimate Recipient to the Recipient and is payable immediately by the Ultimate Recipient upon demand.
  4. For greater certainty, the termination of Program does not, in any way, affect an Ultimate Recipient's obligation to repay the Payment, or part thereof, that that Ultimate Recipient received from the Recipient, through administrative error or otherwise, under the initiative if that Ultimate Recipient was not eligible to receive that Payment to begin with.
  5. A Recipient may ask Ontario to set-off any debt that an Ultimate Recipient owes to the Recipient against any debt that Ontario may owe to the Ultimate Recipient.

Original signed by

The Honourable Jeff Leal
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Executed at Toronto, Ontario, on this 7th day of November, 2017


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