The Regulatory Compliance Unit of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) assists in the administration of Ontario's food safety laws. We handle complaints through advisory, education and enforcement activities. Here's how the process works:
- OMAFRA receives a complaint.
Complaints can come from many different sources such as Crime Stoppers, government and non government agencies and the public. For efficiencies, we may partner with other ministries, agencies and other levels of government in our follow-up.
- The Regulatory Compliance Unit analyzes the complaint and decides what action to take.
For compliance actions the complaint may be assigned to a Compliance and Advisory Officer. There are five officers that work province wide dealing with various compliance issues up to and including ticketing under specific legislation.
For more serious violations, the complaint would be referred to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Enforcement Branch. There are eight investigators province wide responsible for investigation and prosecution services.
- Through a Memorandum of Understanding OMAFRA's investigation and prosecution services are provided by the MNR.
Lines are clearly drawn between inspectors who monitor for compliance, and those who gather evidence for prosecution. These investigations often result in charges and convictions.
A track record of successful enforcementThe partnership between MNR and OMAFRA started in April 2000 to enforce OMAFRA's legislation more efficiently through:
- improved training for staff
- better sharing of resources
- an expanded network of back-up and support for investigators
- a division of duties between inspection and investigation