The Court of Appeal of Ontario has denied the Grain Farmers of Ontario request for appeal on the dismissal of the case surrounding the Ontario government’s seed treatment regulations.
Mark Brock, GFO Chair, called the decision, which was released on April 20, both frustrating and disheartening. “While the result is not what we hoped for, the judgement acknowledged that farmer rights have been negatively affected by this regulation and that it does create legitimate hardships on grain farmers in this province,” said Brock in a news release.
According to the GFO, the seed treatment regulation, and the precedent it sets for regulating farm inputs, has a significant and detrimental impact on agriculture in Ontario. While the GFO Board of Directors will have further discussion regarding an appeal, it has decided to immediately engage BDO to conduct an audit of the impact of these regulations on Ontario’s grain farmers.
“To ensure the government truly understands how decisions like this impact our businesses, and with the goal of improving how agricultural policy is formed in the future, we are commissioning this audit and we will regularly inform the government of findings throughout this study,” says Brock. “This issue remains a top priority for Grain Farmers of Ontario and we will continue to engage government on this topic today and into the future.”
BDO is one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Canada. Over the next three years, BDO will investigate the socio-economic consequences of these regulations, including the cost to farmers operating under this new regime and the cost to the future of food and fibre production in Canada. The Conference Board of Canada conducted a study prior to the implementation of these regulations that estimated a loss of over $600 million if farmers were unable to access neonicotinoids and that some farmers would simply move away from farming.