A Freedom of Information request filed earlier this year asking for the names and business numbers of all farm businesses in Ontario has been withdrawn.
A joint release put out by all three of the province’s general farm organizations states that, following a lengthy period of mediation, the request for the list of names has been dropped.
The request was filed early in 2020, and the provincial government ruled that the business numbers would not be released, however the business names would be.
The request was filed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), and as such, the requestor’s identity is protected from being made public.
The membership of the three organizations, Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, and the National Farmers Union-Ontario, were largely opposed to the release of the information, and there was concern that the release of names, numbers, or locations of farms and farm businesses could be used for activist or other harassment purposes.
“Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” says Keith Currie, president of OFA. “We are very pleased to report that the matter has been resolved and that we can move forward with the significant priorities of the Ontario agriculture sector.”