GFO Denied Appeal in Court Case Against Seed Treatment Regulations

The Ontario Court of Appeal has denied Grain Farmers of Ontario an appeal on the dismissal of the farm group’s case against the provincial government’s seed treatment regulations.

“We’re pretty disheartened by the whole situation. We felt we had a good case before the courts, so we’re disappointed, but the one highlight is that the Court of Appeals did understand our plight and the situation we faced. They just didn’t have any legal realm to assist us in our situation,” explains Mark Brock, GFO chair, in the interview below.

“In laymen’s terms, it would be ‘we hear you, but we can’t do anything about it’,” he says.


Mark Brock and Kelvin Heppner discuss the court decision and hiring of BDO

Last fall, the Ontario Superior Court dismissed GFO’s request for a stay and interpretation of the province’s new seed treatment rules, which limit the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed. About 200 farmers filled a Toronto courthouse as GFO’s request for an appeal was heard in early March. The panel of judges reserved their decision, releasing it on Wednesday.

GFO has hired BDO to conduct an audit of the impact the new seed treatment regulations will have on grain farmers over the next three years.

“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,” said 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.”

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2 Comments

John Cowan

It will basically fall to the seed companies to regulate these laws. They will be operating in an environment that has a far different law in Ontario as opposed to other provinces in the country not to mention the USA and many eastern European countries who have been a good export market for Canadian seed. This law will add significant costs and seriously hinder growth of Ontario based companies. It will also limit investment in Ontario seed production facilities by international companies.

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