Minister's Order: Strategic agri-food processing fund program [0001/2022]

Whereas the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector provides an important economic and social contribution within Ontario;

And whereas the agri-food processing sector is a significant contributor to Ontario's economy;

And whereas the agri-food processing sector is experiencing processing capacity issues;

And whereas the existing Processor facilities and technology being used by many Processors is outdated and/or not as efficient as it could be, which undermines the processing sector's capacity to become more productive and ultimately results in reducing the overall competitiveness of Ontario's processing sector in comparison to other processing sectors elsewhere;

And whereas it is in Ontario's economic interest to provide financial assistance to the processing sector so that Processors can open new processing facilities, expand their existing processing facilities or adopt Advanced Automation/Manufacturing Technology in their existing processing facilities, thereby becoming more efficient and productive as well as increase their overall competitiveness;

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

And whereas section 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 I, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, believe that a program aimed at providing financial assistance to Processors so that those Processors can open new processing facilities, expand their operations at existing processing facilities or adopt Advanced Automation/Manufacturing Technology at their existing processing facilities, thereby becoming more efficient and productive as well as increase their overall competitiveness with other processing sectors elsewhere should be established as such a program will encourage agriculture, food and rural affairs within Ontario;

Now therefore, and pursuant to my authority under sections 4 and 6.2(1) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, the program known as the

Strategic agri-food processing fund program

is hereby established for the encouragement of agriculture, food and rural affairs within Ontario as of the date this Minister's Order is signed as set out below.

Part I – Interpretation

Interpretation

  1. For the purposes of interpreting this Order, including its recitals:
    1. Words in the singular include the plural and vice versa;
    2. The headings do not form part of this Order – they are for reference purposes only and will not affect the interpretation of this Order;
    3. Any reference to dollars or currency in this Order will be to Canadian dollars and currency;
    4. Any reference to a statute means a statute of the Province of Ontario, unless otherwise indicated;
    5. 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
    6. Any reference to an Order-in-Council or Minister's Order is a reference to that Order-in-Council or Minister's Order as they may be amended from time to time and to any Order-in-Council or Minister's Order that has the effect of supplanting or superseding that Order-in-Council or Minister's Order unless a provision of this Agreement 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, the terms below will have the following meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise:

    "Advanced Automation/Manufacturing Technology" means the use of robotic, digital, artificial intelligence or other forms of technologies that increases processing capacity and productivity; 

    "Agreement" includes:

    1. A Transfer Payment Agreement entered between the Participant and the Crown, and
    2. A Service Level Agreement entered between a vender and the Crown;

    "Applicant" means a Person who has applied to one or more Categories of the Program;

    "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;

    "Category" means the:

    1. New Production Capacity Category,
    2. Major Expansion Of Existing Production Capacity Category, or
    3. Modernization Of Existing Production Capacity Category;

    "Cost Share" means the percentage of Eligible Costs the Crown will pay under a Category;

    "CRA BN" means the business number Canada Revenue Agency issued to the Person pursuant to the Income Tax Act (Canada);

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

    "DOFMA" means the Ministry's Delegation of Financial Management Authority and includes any amendments thereto or successor document;

    "Eligible Costs" means those costs that are eligible under a Category:

    "Eligible Project" means a Project set out under:

    1. Section 25 of this Order for the New Production Capacity Category,
    2. Section 33 of this Order for the Major Expansion Of Existing Production Capacity Category, or
    3. Section 41 of this Order for the Modernization Of Existing Production Capacity Category;

    "Existing Premises" means a facility that is fully constructed and has operated as a Processor or is currently operating as a Processor

    "FIPPA" means the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

    "Guidelines" means the written document setting out the requirements, terms and conditions governing the operation of the Program;

    "Indigenous Person" includes:

    1. An individual who is:
      1. Recognized as being an Indian in accordance with the Indian Act, or
      2. Recognized as being a Métis by a Métis Nation within Canada;
    2. An individual who identifies as being an Indian or Inuit and is recognized as being an Indian or Inuit by his or her community;
    3. A corporation:
      1. Where a majority of the voting shares are owned by individuals who meet the requirements set out under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this definition,
      2. Where a majority of voting members on its board of directors are comprised of individuals who meet the requirements set out under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this definition, or
      3. Where a majority of shares are owned by a Band Council or Métis Nation within Canada; or
    4. A partnership where more than fifty percent (50%) of the profit or loss of the partnership is allocated to individuals who meet the requirements set out under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this definition or a corporation as set out in paragraph (c) of this definition;
    5. An unincorporated association where the majority of the decision-makers for that unincorporated association are comprised of individuals who meet the requirements set out under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this definition;

    "Ineligible Costs" means those costs that are not eligible under a Category;

    "Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs or any other member of the Executive Council to whom responsibility for the administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act is assigned or transferred under the Executive Council Act;

    "Ministry" means the ministry of the Minister;

    "Net New Processing Capacity" means additional capacity added to the processing sector through the construction of a New Premises or the addition of new lines to an Existing Premises or a wholesale change to the type of commodity processed on existing lines through major changes to form and/or function of the existing processing infrastructure.

    "New Premises" means a physical location that will operate as a processing facility once constructed or a facility that is constructed but has no Processor has operated there previously;

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

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

    "Project" means an undertaking;

    "Northern Ontario" means the districts of Parry Sound and Nipissing as well as any areas north of these districts;

    "Participant" means a Person that has been accepted to participate in the Program;

    "Person" means:

    1. An individual,
    2. A corporation,
    3. A partnership, or
    4. An unincorporated association;

    "Processor" means a Person that Transforms or will Transform agricultural commodities, food and beverages in Ontario for human consumption and, for greater certainty, includes primary food processing activities;

    "Program" means the Strategic Agri-Food Processing Fund Program;

    "Program Administrator" means the Assistant Deputy Minister – Economic Development Division of the Ministry and includes any acting Assistant Deputy Minister – Economic Development Division of the Ministry as well as any successor position;

    "Program Director" means the Director of Rural Programs Branch of the Ministry and incudes any acting Director of Rural Programs Branch of the Ministry as well as any successor position;

    "Program Manager" means the Manager of Agri-food Supply Chain Programs of the Ministry and includes any acting Manager of Agri-food Supply Chain Programs of the Ministry as well as any successor position;

    "Program Payment" means the direct or indirect provision of funds to a Recipient under a Category of the Program;

    "Program Year" means April 1 of one calendar year until March 31 of the following calendar year;

    "Recipient" means a Person who receives a Program Payment pursuant to a Transfer Payment Agreement;

    "Requirements Of Law" means all applicable statutes, regulations, by-laws, ordinances, codes, official plans, rules, Guidelines, approvals, permits, licences, authorizations, orders, decrees, injunctions, directions and agreements, as they may be amended from time to time, with all authorities that now or at any time hereafter may relate to the Applicant/Participant/Recipient's business operations, the Program or both;

    "Rural Ontario" means all Statistics Canada census subdivisions, including lower-tier and single-tier municipalities, that either have a population of less than one hundred thousand (100,000) people or have a population density of one hundred (100) people or less per square kilometre, as identified in the most recent Statistics Canada Census of Canadian Population;

    "Service Level Agreement" means an agreement where the Crown obtains a good, a service or both from the vendor;

    "SIN" means Social Insurance Number;

    "Transfer Payment Agreement" means an agreement where the Crown agrees to make Program Payments to a Recipient in return for the Recipient completing activities under the agreement; and

    "Transform" means the application of any value-added activity to a raw plant or animal agricultural inputs to produce food for human consumption, including cutting, washing, packing, cooking, storing or refrigerating.

Purpose Of The Program

  1. The purpose of the Program is to provide financial support to Processors so that those Processors can expand their operations by expanding Existing Premises or building or changing New Premises and adopt Advanced Automation/Manufacturing Technology to increase their processing capacity, thereby increasing the totality of processing capacity in Ontario.

Part II – Term And Termination of A Category or The Program

Term Of The Program

  1. The Program commences on the date this Order is signed.

Termination Of A Category

  1. (1) Despite anything else in this Order, the Program Administrator may terminate a Category of the Program if the Program Administrator is of the opinion that that Category is not fulfilling its intended purpose. Where the Program Administrator terminates a Category, the following rules will apply:
    1. The Program Administrator will post, or cause to be posted, a notice on the Ministry's website where a copy of this Order is posted as well as where the Guidelines for the Category are posted, setting out the Category has been terminated and the date in which the Category was terminated; and
    2. Any Program Payments owing for costs a Recipient has incurred and paid as of the date the Category is terminated will be paid, even if the Recipient has not yet submitted a claim for those incurred and paid costs to the Ministry for reimbursement.
    (2) For greater certainty, the termination of one Category does not affect the operation of any other Category or the Program.

Termination Of The Program

  1. Despite anything else in this Order, the Program will automatically terminate in the event the Program Administrator is of the opinion there is an insufficient appropriation from the Ontario Legislature or sufficient funding in the budget for the Program for any payment that is to be made under the Program. Where the Program is terminated pursuant to this section 6 of this Order, the following rules will apply:
    1. The Program Administrator will post, or cause to be posted, a notice on the Ministry's website where a copy of this Order is posted as well as where the Guidelines for this Program is posted setting out the Program has been terminated and the date the Program was terminated; and
    2. Any payments under the Program for which there is no appropriation will not be paid.
  2. Despite anything else in this Order, the Program may be terminated through the issuance of a Minister's Order terminating the Program. Where a Minister's Order is issued terminating the Program, the following rules will apply:
    1. The Program Administrator will post, or cause to be posted, a notice on the Ministry's website where a copy of this Order is posted as well as where the Guidelines for this Program is posted, setting out the Program has been terminated and the date the Program was terminated; and
    2. Any Program Payments owing for costs a Recipient has incurred and paid as of the date the Program is terminated will be paid, even if the Recipient has not yet submitted a claim for those incurred and paid costs to the Ministry for reimbursement, unless the Minister's Order terminating the Program provides otherwise.

Part III – Funding for The Program

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

Part IV – Administration of the Program

The Minister

  1. (1) Despite anything else in this Order or the Guidelines, the Minister reserves the power for the Minister to, upon request, waive any requirement set out under this Order or included in the Guidelines.

    (2) The Minister also reserves the power for the Minister to impose any terms or conditions upon any waiver the Minister issues pursuant to section 10(1) of this Order.

    (3) The Minister will select the successful Applicants under the New Production Capacity Category and the Major Expansion Of Existing Production Capacity Category.

The Program Administrator

  1. (1) The Program Administrator is responsible for the overall administration of the Program. This includes:
    1. Approving and signing the Guidelines for the Program, including any amendments thereto;
    2. Terminating a Category under the Program;
    3. Terminating the Program;
    4. Entering into any Service Level required for the administration of a Category or the Program as a whole in accordance with the Ministry's DOFMA;
    5. Entering into any Transfer Payment Agreement with a Participant under a Category in accordance with the Ministry's DOFMA;
    6. Making decisions under section 11(2) of this Order;
    7. Limiting the amount of personal information collected under the Program to what is necessary to administer the Program;
    8. Establishing any standards or procedures the Program Administrator believes is necessary for the general delivery of a Category or the Program as a whole; and
    9. Approving anything that needs to be approved under the Program that has not been assigned to the Program Director or the Program Manager.

    (2) The Program Administrator may waive any term or condition set out in an Agreement the Program Administrator enters pursuant to sections 11(1)(d) or 11(1)(e) of this Order, provided:

    1. The waiver will not contravene any directives issued by the Crown; and
    2. The Program Administrator is of the opinion such a waiver is appropriate in the circumstances.

    (3) The Program Administrator may waive any administrative deadline set out in the Guidelines upon request. The Program Administrator will not authorize any waiver that conflicts with any waiver issued pursuant to section 10(1) of this Order.

    (4) The Program Administrator will select the successful Applicants under the Modernization Of Existing Production Capacity Category.

The Program Director

  1. (1) The Program Director is responsible for the operationalization and delivery of the Program. This includes:
    1. Implementing any standards and procedures established by the Program Administrator;
    2. Establishing any additional standards and procedures the Program Director believes is necessary for the delivery of the Program;
    3. Entering into any Service Level required for the administration of a Category or the Program as a whole in accordance with the Ministry's DOFMA;
    4. Entering into any Transfer Payment Agreement with a Participant under a Category in accordance with the Ministry's DOFMA;
    5. Making decisions pursuant to sections 12(2), 12(3), 19, 20, 21 and 22 of this Order;
    6. Administering any Agreements the Program Administrator or the Program Director entered into under the Program;
    7. Monitoring the performance of all aspects of the Program;
    8. Monitoring the Ministry's delivery of the Program; and
    9. Carrying out all other administrative functions required for the successful operation of the Program.

    (2) The Program Director may waive any term or condition set out in an Agreement the Program Director enters pursuant to sections 12(1)(c) or 12(1)(d) of this Order, provided:

    1. The waiver will not contravene any directives issued by the Crown; and
    2. The Program Director is of the opinion such a waiver is appropriate in the circumstances.

    (3) The Program Director may allow a Person to continue participating in the Program even if that Person does not meet all the eligibility requirements set out under this Order, provided:

    1. The Person was originally found to be eligible to participate in the Program;
    2. The Person acted in good faith to be found eligible to participate in the Program;
    3. The Person acted in good faith while participating in the Program; and
    4. The Program Director is of the opinion that not allowing the Person to continue participating in the Program would create an unfair result for that Person.

The Program Manager

  1. (1) The Program Manager is responsible for assisting the Program Director in the delivery of the Program. This includes:
    1. Entering into any Service Level required for the administration of a Category or the Program as a whole in accordance with the Ministry's DOFMA;
    2. Entering into any Transfer Payment Agreement with a Participant under a Category in accordance with the Ministry's DOFMA;
    3. Making decisions pursuant to sections 13(2) of this Order;
    4. Assisting the Program Administrator administer any Agreements the Program Administrator or the Program Director entered into under the Program; and
    5. Assisting the Program Director in monitoring the operation and performance of the Program.

(2) The Program Manager may waive any term or condition set out in an Agreement the Program Manager enters pursuant to sections 13(1)(a) and 13(1)(b) of this Order, provided:

  1. The waiver will not contravene any directives issued by the Crown; and
  2. The Program Manager is of the opinion such a waiver is appropriate in the circumstances.

Exercise of Administrative Powers Under Program

  1. The Program Administrator, the Program Director and the Program Manager have all necessary authority to deliver the Program, including any Category thereunder.

Guidelines

  1. (1) The Program Administrator will create or cause to be created Guidelines for each Category of the Program. The Guidelines will not conflict with anything contained in this Order. For the purposes of determining whether the Guidelines conflict with this Order, a conflict will exist if the Guidelines provide for something that is prohibited under this Order or if the Guidelines provide that something is not needed which this Order requires.

    (2) Without limiting the Program Administrator's general administrative authority set out in section 11 of this Order, the Program Administrator's authority to create or cause to be created Guidelines for each Category of the Program includes the authority to set out, or cause to be set out, the requirements, terms and conditions in the Guidelines in relation to:

    1. Setting out administrative deadlines for each Category in the Guidelines;
    2. Setting out the criteria in which an Applicant's application to a Category will be evaluated;
    3. Setting out relevant definitions and terms applicable to each Category;
    4. Setting out any limits on the number of applications an Applicant may submit under the Program or a Category;
    5. Setting out Eligible Costs and Ineligible Costs for a Category;
    6. Establishing the requirements, terms and conditions for any Program Payments that may be made in the Guidelines, including:
      1. The methodology in which Program Payments may be calculated, including the applicable Cost Share,
      2. Minimum Program Payments,
      3. The timing of Program Payments,
      4. Whether Program Payments can be assigned, and
      5. Any Program Payment caps under a Category;
    7. Setting out reporting and audit requirements for each Category in the Guidelines that are in addition to what is set out under this Order;
    8. Setting out how documents are to be served under each Category in the Guidelines;
    9. Setting out any requirements for each Category that must be set out in the Guidelines under this Order in the Guidelines; and
    10. Establishing any other requirements, terms or conditions that are reasonably necessary for the successful administration and delivery of a Category in the Guidelines.

    (3) The Program Administrator will post the Guidelines or cause the Guidelines to be posted on the Ministry's website or will require the Guidelines to be posted on a publicly available website.

    (4) The Guidelines are not required to be posted until after this Order comes into force.

    (5) The Program Administrator may amend the Guidelines. Where the Guidelines are amended, the following will apply:

    1. The amended Guidelines will be posted on the Ministry's website or on another publicly available website; and
    2. Any changes to the Guideline will not have any retroactive effect.

Agreements

Service Level Agreements
  1. (1) Without limiting the general authority the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager have under this Order, but subject to the Ministry's DOFMA, the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager may, as the case may be, enter into a Service Level Agreement with any Person for the purposes of:
    1. Developing specialized knowledge within the Program as a whole or a particular Category;
    2. Obtaining goods, services or both in relation to the Program as a whole or a particular Category from any Person, provided:
      1. The good, service or both relates to the objects of the Program as a whole or a particular Category; and
      2. The Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager is, as the case may be, of the opinion that the good, service or both is reasonably necessary for the operation of the Program as a whole or a particular Category.

    (2) If the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager enters a Service Level Agreement pursuant to section 16(1) of this Order, the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager may, as the case may be, determine the terms and conditions of that Service Level Agreement, provided the terms and conditions for that Service Level Agreement meets all applicable Government of Ontario Directives.

    (3) Despite any other provision in this Order, no payment will be made to any Person pursuant to a Service Level Agreement unless that Person is in compliance with the terms and conditions of that Service Level Agreement or an appropriate waiver has been issued for any breach.

Transfer Payment Agreements
  1. (1) Without Limiting the general authority the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager have under this Order, but subject to the Ministry's DOFMA, the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager may, as the case may be, enter into a Transfer Payment Agreement with any Person for the purposes of making Program Payments.

    (2) If the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager enters a Service Level Agreement pursuant to section 17(1) of this Order, the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager may, as the case may be, determine the terms and conditions of that Transfer Payment Agreement, provided the terms and conditions for that Transfer Payment Agreement:

    1. Meet all applicable Government of Ontario Directives; and
    2. Are substantially the same.

    (3) Despite section 17(2) of this Order, the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager may, as the case may be, include specific provisions within a particular Transfer Payment Agreement to address any unique situations or risks the Program Administrator, Program Director or Program Manager has identified.

    (4) Despite any other provision in this Order, no Program Payment will be made to any Person pursuant to a Transfer Payment Agreement unless that Person is in compliance with the terms and conditions of that Transfer Payment Agreement or an appropriate waiver has been issued for any breach.

Part V – General Eligibility Requirements And Loss Of Eligibility Under the program

Eligibility Requirements Under The Program

  1. (1) No Applicant will be eligible to participate in a Category of this Program unless that Applicant meets all the eligibility requirements set out in this Part V of the Order as well as any additional eligibility requirements for the Category in which the application relates, as set out under Part VII.1, Part VII.2 or Part VII.3 of this Order.

    (2) An Applicant will meet, at a minimum, the following eligibility requirements to participate in a Category of the Program:

    1. Be a Processor;
    2. Agree to enter into a Transfer Payment Agreement setting out the terms and conditions the Applicant must meet to receive funding under the Category;
    3. Provide:
      1. Its CRA BN, or
      2. Its SIN if the Applicant is not eligible to receive a CRA BN and the Applicant is eligible to receive a Program Payment prior to receiving the Program Payment;
    4. Agree that the Crown may, should the Applicant receive any funding under a Category, publish information, including:
      1. Project-related information,
      2. The Transfer Payment Agreement,
      3. The name of the Applicant (now Recipient)
      4. The amount of funding the Crown provided, and
      5. The outcome of the Project;
    5. Has not lost its eligibility to participate in the Program pursuant to sections 19, 20, 21 or 22 of this Order;
    6. Is in material compliance with, agrees to remain in material compliance with, as well as remains in, material compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the Program; and
    7. Agrees to be bound by the requirements, terms and conditions of the Program, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines;

Loss Of Eligibility To Participate In The Program

  1. An Applicant/Participant/Recipient that willfully provides false or misleading information under the Program:
    1. Will have their eligibility to participate in the Program revoked; and
    2. Will repay any Program Payments received under the Program.
  2. An Applicant/Participant/Recipient that provides false or misleading information or is found to have acted in a negligent manner in allowing false or misleading information to be submitted on the Applicant/Participant/Recipient's behalf under the Program:
    1. May have their eligibility to continue to participate in the Program revoked; and
    2. Will repay any Program Payment received under the Program.
  3. (1) An Applicant/Participant/Recipient that is abusive toward any staff responsible for delivering the Program will receive one written warning from the Program Director. If the Applicant/Participant/Recipient continues with his/her/its/their abusive behaviour, the Applicant/Participant/Recipient may have their eligibility to participate in the Program revoked.

    (2) In the event the Applicant/Participant/Recipient has been found to be ineligible to participate in the Program pursuant to section 21(1) of this Order and that Applicant/Participant/Recipient is abusive toward any staff responsible for delivering the Program after being allowed to participate in the Program again, the Applicant/Participant/Recipient may lose their eligibility to participate in the Program while this Order is in effect.

  4. An Applicant/Participant may be found to be ineligible to participate in the Program where that Applicant/Participant:
    1. Owes a debt to Ontario and is not in a repayment plan with Ontario, including an agent of Ontario; or
    2. Is not in compliance with any repayment plan the Applicant/Participant has with Ontario, including an agent of Ontario.

Part VI – Eligible Costs And Ineligible Costs

Eligible Costs

  1. Eligible Costs under the Program are those costs that are directly necessary for the Project, including:
    1. Costs of goods, and
    2. Costs of services,

    provided those good or services are set out in the Guidelines.

Ineligible Costs

  1. Ineligible Costs under the Program are:
    1. Wage subsidies, executive salaries, bonuses or restricting costs;
    2. Costs associated with applying to a Category;
    3. Costs to lobby any level of government in relation to a Project being considered under the Program or being constructed under the Program;
    4. Costs associated with obtaining any lawfully authorized permits, licences or other approvals necessary to carry out the Project;
    5. Unreasonably incurred costs or costs not directly necessary for the successful completion of the Project;
    6. Financing charges and loan interest payments;
    7. The portion of any Eligible Costs for which the Recipient is eligible to receive a credit, rebate or refund; and
    8. Any other costs set out as being Ineligible Costs in the Guidelines.

PART VII – Categories of the Program

Part VII.1 – The new production capacity Category

Eligible And Ineligible Projects Under Category
Eligible Projects
  1. A Project will be eligible under this Category if it constructs a New Premises and installs Advanced Automation/Manufacturing Technology with the intent of establishing a Processor business at that New Premises to create Net New Processing Capacity.
Ineligible Projects
  1. All Projects that do not fall within section 25 of this Order.
Specific Eligibility Requirements Under This Category
  1. (1) No Applicant will be eligible to participate in this Category unless that Applicant meets all the requirements set out under section 18(2) of this Order as well as all the requirements set out under section 27(2) of this Order.

    (2) To participate in this Category, an Applicant must also meet the following additional eligibility requirements:

    1. The Applicant must apply to this Category using Program Director-approved application forms;
    2. The Applicant must submit completed Program-Operator approved application forms for this Category by the applicable deadlines set out in the Guidelines;
    3. The Project must be an Eligible Project;
    4. The Project must be able to begin construction on or before the date set out in the Guidelines;
    5. The Project must be substantially completed on or before the date set out in the Guidelines;
    6. The Project must create Net New Processing Capacity; and
    7. Any other eligibility requirements set out in the Guidelines for this Category.
Application Process Under This Category
Qualification Checklist Phase
  1. (1) Applicants for this Category shall submit a completed qualifying checklist on a Program Director-approved form to the Ministry by the date set out in the Guidelines.

    (2) Staff in the Ministry will be responsible for reviewing an Applicant's qualifying checklist and determining whether it is eligible to move on to the application phase.

    (3) Applicants will agree that moving on to the application phase under this Category does not mean the Applicants are eligible to receive any funding under this Category.

Application Phase
  1. (1) Applicants for this Category shall submit a completed application on a Program Director-approved form to the Ministry by the date set out in the Guidelines.

    (2) The Ministry will retain the services of an independent third-party to assess and rate all applications under this Category.

Cost-Share Under This Category
  1. (1) The basic Cost Share under this Category is twenty percent (20%) of Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project.

    (2) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project located in Rural Ontario above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 30(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (3) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project located in Northern Ontario above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 30(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share amount is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (4) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project where the Applicant is an Indigenous Person above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 30(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share amount is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (5) Despite any other provision in this section 30 of in the Order, the Program Administrator will not set out an increased Cost Share amount where the total quantum of Cost Share for Eligible Costs is more than thirty five percent (35%).

Program Payment Cap Under Category
  1. Despite any other provision in this Part VII.1 of this Order, the maximum Program Payment a Recipient is eligible to receive for an Eligible Project under this Category is three million dollars ($3,000,000.00).
Limit On Number Of Eligible Projects Under Category
  1. Unless the Guidelines provide otherwise, an Applicant may only apply to one Category under the Program.

Part VII.2 – The Major expansion of Existing production capacity Category

Eligible And Ineligible Projects Under Category
Eligible Projects
  1. A Project will be eligible under this Category if it results in a major expansion of an Existing Premises and installs Advanced Automation/Manufactory Technology that creates Net New Processing Capacity.
Ineligible Projects
  1. All Projects that do not fall within section 33 of this Order.
Specific Eligibility Requirements Under This Category
  1. (1) No Applicant will be eligible to participate in this Category unless that Applicant meets all the requirements set out under section 18(2) of this Order as well as all the requirements set out under section 35(2) of this Order.

    (2) To participate in this Category, an Applicant must also meet the following additional eligibility requirements:

    1. The Applicant must apply to this Category using Program Director-approved application forms;
    2. The Applicant must submit completed Program-Operator approved application forms for this Category by the applicable deadlines set out in the Guidelines;
    3. The Project must be an Eligible Project;
    4. The Project must be able to begin construction on or before the date set out in the Guidelines;
    5. The Project must be substantially completed on or before the date set out in the Guidelines;
    6. The Project must create Net New Processing Capacity; and
    7. Any other eligibility requirements set out in the Guidelines for this Category.
Application Process Under Category
Qualification Checklist Phase
  1. (1) Applicants for this Category shall submit a completed qualifying checklist on a Program Director-approved form to the Ministry by the date set out in the Guidelines.

    (2) Staff in the Ministry will be responsible for reviewing an Applicant's qualifying checklist and determining whether it is eligible to move on to the application phase.

    (3) Applicants will agree that moving on to the application phase under this Category does not mean the Applicants are eligible to receive any funding under this Category.

Application Phase
  1. (1) Applicants for this Category shall submit a completed application on a Program Director-approved form to the Ministry by the date set out in the Guidelines.

    (2) The Ministry will retain the services of an independent third-party to assess and rate all applications under this Category.

Cost-Share Under Category
  1. (1) The basic Cost Share under this Category is twenty percent (20%) of Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project.

    (2) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project located in Rural Ontario above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 38(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (3) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project located in Northern Ontario above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 38(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share amount is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (4) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project where the Applicant is an Indigenous Person above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 38(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share amount is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (5) Despite any other provision in this section 38 of in the Order, the Program Administrator will not set out an increased Cost Share amount where the total quantum of Cost Share for Eligible Costs is more than thirty five percent (35%).

Program Payment Cap Under Category
  1. Despite any other provision in this Part VII.2 of this Order, the maximum Program Payment a Recipient is eligible to receive for an Eligible Project under this Category is three million dollars ($3,000,000.00).
Limit On Number Of Eligible Projects Under Category
  1. (1) Unless the Guidelines provide otherwise, an Applicant may only apply to one Category under the Program.

Part VII.3 – The modernization of Existing production capacity Category

Eligible And Ineligible Projects Under Category
Eligible Projects
  1. A Project will be eligible under this Category if it adopts Advanced Automation/Manufacturing Technology at an Existing Premises, thereby creating Net New Processing Capacity at the Existing Premises.
Ineligible Projects
  1. All Projects that do not fall within section 41 of this Order.
Specific Eligibility Requirements Under Category
  1. (1) No Applicant will be eligible to participate in this Category unless that Applicant meets all the requirements set out under section 18(2) of this Order as well as all the requirements set out under section 43(2) of this Order.

    (2) To participate in this Category, an Applicant must also meet the following additional eligibility requirements:

    1. The Applicant must apply to this Category using a Program Director-approved application form;
    2. The Applicant must submit a completed Program Director-approved application form for this Category by the applicable deadline set out in the Guidelines;
    3. The Applicant's Project must be an Eligible Project;
    4. The Project must be completed by the date set out in the Guidelines;
    5. The Project must create Net New Processing Capacity; and
    6. Any other eligibility requirements set out in the Guidelines for this Category
Cost-Share Under The Category
  1. (1) The basic Cost Share under this Category is fifteen percent (15%) of Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project.

    (2) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project located in Rural Ontario above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 44(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (3) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project located in Northern Ontario above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 44(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share amount is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (4) The Program Administrator may increase the Cost Share for Eligible Costs incurred for an Eligible Project where the Applicant is an Indigenous Person above the basic Cost Share amount set out under section 44(1) of this Order, provided the increased Cost Share amount is set out in the Guidelines for this Category.

    (5) Despite any other provision in this section 44 of in the Order, the Program Administrator will not set out an increased Cost Share amount where the total quantum of Cost Share for Eligible Costs is more than thirty percent (30%).

Program Payment Cap Under Category
  1. Despite any other provision in this Part VII.3 of the Order, the maximum Program Payment a Recipient is eligible to receive for an Eligible Project under this Category is five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00).
Limit On Number Of Eligible Projects Under Category
  1. Unless the Guidelines provide otherwise, an Applicant may only apply to one Category under the Program.

Part VIII – Program Payments Under The Program

  1. Participating in a Category does not create a legal, equitable or other right to receive a Program Payment.
  2. Any Program Payment a Participant may be eligible to receive may be pro-rated in the event there are insufficient funds to make full Program Payments owing under the Category.
  3. A Participant/Recipient will not assign any Program Payment that may be issued to another Person unless the Guidelines authorize such assignment.
  4. Any Program Payment a Recipient receives is considered income for the purposes of the Income Tax Act and will be recorded as such.
  5. (1) A Participant/Recipient shall not receive any other funding for the Eligible Project from any other provincially funded programs, including the Canadian Agricultural Partnership or any successor program to it

    (2) A Participant/Recipient may receive funding for the Eligible Project from any federally funded programs, including the Canadian Agricultural Partnership or any successor program to it, if that federal funding does not count towards Ontario's share of funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership or any successor program to it.

  6. Any Program Payment is provided in connection with a social or economic policy and that the Program is a social or economic program.

Part IX – Collection, Use And Disclosure Of Information Under The program

  1. The collection of personal information, as defined under the FIPPA, is necessary for the proper administration of this Program. The Program Administrator will only collect or will only allow others to collect the minimum personal information necessary to meet the Program's objectives. Applicants/Participants/Recipients will consent to the collection of any personal information, as defined under the FIPPA, that is necessary for the administration of the Program.
  2. Applicants/Participants/Recipients will consent to the use and disclosure of any personal information that is collected pursuant to this Order, for the purposes of:
    1. Verifying any information provided;
    2. Confirming the Person who received a Program Payment paid taxes on that Program Payment;
    3. Conducting audits;
    4. Enforcing the terms and conditions of the Program;
    5. Collecting any debt a Person may owe to Ontario arising:
      1. Prior to the Program, or
      2. From the Program; and
    6. Any other use and disclosure set out in the Program Guidelines.
  3. Applications to the Program will contain a notice of collection of personal information within the meaning of the FIPPA and require the Applicant to indicate the Applicant consents to the collection of that information as well as for the use and disclosure of that information for the purposes set out under section 54 of this Order.
  4. (1) A Participant participating as a sole proprietor, a partner within a partnership or a member of an unincorporated association authorizes the collection and use of that Participant's SIN, as collected pursuant to section 18(2)(c)(ii) of this Order, where that Participant does not have a CRA BN and that Participant is eligible to receive a Program Payment.

    (2) Where it is necessary to collect a Participant's SIN under the Program, that Participant's SIN will only be used for the purposes set out under section 54 of this Order.

    (3) Where it is necessary to collect a Participant's SIN, that Participant consents to the use and disclosure of that Participant's SIN to any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes set out under section 54 of this Order.

  5. Any Person who receives a Program Payment under the Program will provide any information that is requested within ten (10) Business Days of the request unless the request for information contains a different deadline, in which case the information will be provided in accordance with that request for information.
  6. (1) Any Person who receives a Program Payment will authorize the collection of information, including personal information, as defined under the FIPPA, from any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying any information the Person provided as well as for the enforcement, if applicable, of the terms and conditions of the Program.

    (2) Any Person who receives a Program Payment will consent to the use of and disclosure of any information, including personal information, as defined under the FIPPA, collected under the Program to any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying any information the Person provided as well as for the enforcement, if applicable, of the terms and conditions of the Program.

    (3) When collecting, using and disclosing information under this Part IX of the Order, personal information, as defined under the FIPPA, will not be collected, used or disclosed if the purpose for collecting, using or disclosing such information can be obtained by using non-personal information.

Part X – Audits Under The program

  1. Any Person who receives a Program Payment under the Program will consent to any audits that may be conducted in relation to the Program. Any such audit may be conducted upon giving the Person who received the Program Payment a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours' notice during normal business hours.
  2. Any Person who receives, directly or indirectly, a Program Payment will provide reasonable assistance during any audit. This includes:
    1. Allowing access to any person, place or thing required for auditing purposes within ten (10) Business Days of the request being made for access to that person, place or thing unless the request or access to that person, place or thing contains a different deadline, in which case access to the person, place or thing will be provided in accordance with that request for access to the person, place or thing;
    2. Allowing for the inspection of any records that relate to the Program Payment;
    3. The taking of pictures or other recordings; and
    4. Allowing for the copying of any records that relate to the Program Payment into as well as the removal of any copied documents from the premises of the person that received the Program Payment.
  3. The Guidelines for the Program will contain a notice about the audit rights set out under this Part X of the Order and every Participant who receives a Program Payment is deemed to accept the auditing provisions set out in this Order.

Part XI – Collection Of Debts under the program

Collection Of Existing Debts Owed To The Crown Under The Program

  1. (1) Any Program Payment a Participant may receive may be set-off against any existing debt that Participant may owe to the Crown.

    (2) The right of set-off provided under section 62(1) of this Order is in additional to any other remedies the Crown may have at law, in equity or otherwise to recover any debt a Participant may owe to the Crown.

Collection Of Debts From Recipients Arising Under The Program

  1. Any Recipient who receives an Overpayment owes a debt to the Crown.
  2. The Program Administrator will use, or caused to be used, reasonable efforts to collect a debt arising from a Recipient receiving an Overpayment.
  3. The termination of a Category or the Program will not, in any way, affect a Recipient's obligation for repaying any Overpayment to the Crown.
  4. (1) Any Recipient who receives an Overpayment agrees the Crown may set-off that debt against any other payments the Crown may owe to that Recipient.

    (2) The right of set-off provided under section 66(1) of this Order to collect on any debts arising under the Program is in additional to any other remedies the Crown may have at law, in equity or otherwise to recover any debt a Recipient may owe to the Crown under this Program.

This Order comes into effect on the date it is signed.

Original signed by:

The Honourable Lisa Thompson
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Executed on this 15th day of March, 2022.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca