Grain Farmers of Ontario asks Provincial Government to Respect Planting Timeline


Grain Farmers of Ontario is asking the province of Ontario to extend past key planting dates the consultation period regarding new neonicotinoid regulations.

“This request is within the spirit of the rules for the Environmental Registry consultations,” says GFO. The registry’s own website says, ‘Some proposals may provide more time (e.g. 60 days or 90 days).’

The 45-day comment period on “Regulatory Amendments to Ontario Regulation 63/09 under the Pesticides Act to Reduce the Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides” is set to close on May 7th — exactly when corn and soybean farmers are planting.

The government intends to move forward with the regulations by July 1, 2015, which would be a record fast decision for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change compared to similar decisions, says GFO.

“This is one of the busiest times of the year for grain farmers,” says Mark Brock, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario “It’s unnecessary to force farmers to choose between planting Ontario’s crops or providing input to regulations that will dramatically impact their future.”

The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledges May 7th and 10th as key dates for farmers to be planting corn, and notes the first ten days of May as being critical for soybean crops.

Ontario’s Agricorp crop insurance requires fields be planted by June 30th to be eligible for coverage. Grain Farmers of Ontario is asking the government to “demonstrate good faith consideration of this issue by extending comments to this date, and removing any prejudgment on when they will implement their decision to show they are actually listening.”

In reviewing other relevant ministry decisions, GFO notes that the proposed seven week window between the end of comments and implementation of the regulation is ten times faster than the Ministry of Environment typically takes to consider less contentious issues that lack much engagement. Few decisions, even the non controversial, could be found to have been made in less than six months, according to GFO.

Examples include:

  • EBR posting 012-1394 where a policy decision (Water Supply Well – Requirements and Best Management Practices Manual) took 379 days with just two comments having been received through the EBR process.
  • EBR posting 012-1559 where a regulation decision (Reducing Coal Use In Energy-Intensive Industries) took 318days with just 77 comments received through the EBR process.
  • EBR posting 011-8075 where a regulatory decision (Regulatory Discussion Paper under the NutrientManagement Act, 2002, to allow for the Land Application of Nutrient Feedwater in Ontario) took 614 days with just 12 comments received through the EBR process.


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