Category: Regulatory

Ontario tweaks rabies vaccination rules for livestock

At issue Ontario is set to introduce new rules and regulations as of July 1, 2018, regarding requirements for livestock rabies vaccination. All animals that will interact with the public will be required to maintain up-to-date vaccinations. Why is this a concern? Rabies isn’t fun, you guys. But also, the changes to rabies immunization requirements for… Read more »

Move away from neonics not reflected in MOECC corn planting statistics

Following significant restrictions by the Ontario government in 2015, seed corn companies in the province began to offer non-neonicotinoid seed treatment insecticide options. Now, a significant portion of corn seed sales carry non-neonicotinoid options. It’s bizarre then, that the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change recently published data showing only a 22% reduction in the amount… Read more »

An old profession, but farmers are professionals — A Finnish farmer’s take on maintaining access to crop protection tools

Regulations, by their nature, are country or region specific, but they can have spillover effects into other markets. This is the case with many crop protection products between trading partners — a ban or restriction in one region can have trickle-down impacts on use and even access in another. Many North American farmers have been… Read more »

Water is the ultimate public good. So why doesn’t the public pay for its protection?

I wrote a column last week that caused quite a stir, as was the intention. My tongue-in-cheek title did what it was intended to do: it sparked conversation and some lively debate, but it also got some tempers flaring over the increased regulatory burden farmers not just endure, but must also pay for. Read Top… Read more »

Top 3 reasons to spread manure on snow

Depending on where you live, fields have likely been frozen now for quite some time. Maybe they’re even snow covered. Now is a great time to spread manure because that firm ground means you can travel and not create compaction, the storage is full, and, well, it’ll work its way into the soil later…right? Well,… Read more »

Energy East pipeline cancellation an opportunity lost for rural Canada

Last week TransCanada Corp announced its withdrawal from the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline project in Canada. The cancellation of this $15.7 billion project has created much unrest or satisfaction depending where you live in Canada. The pipeline’s concept was to take oil east for domestic use and exports abroad. The pipeline… Read more »

Building Canadian food and farming attitudes from the ground up

What’s the value of public opinion? That’s a question I find myself asking more often these days. In a democracy, public opinion should matter and politicians and policy makers should have a strong understanding of the people’s will when making public policy. But should they give the people what they want? Today we have no… Read more »

Creating a ‘Silicon Valley’ for Food in Ontario

Around the globe, agriculture and food systems produce about 2,850 calories per person per day. That’s enough to feed the world explains University of Guelph professor Evan Fraser, but unfortunately we still have 800 million people who are undernourished. Even more perplexing is the fact that we have 2 billion people who struggle with being… Read more »

New Agreement Seeks to Streamline Trans-Canada Trade

Late last week, Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments announced concluded negotiations of a new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). The CFTA replaces the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), which has been in place since 1995. The CFTA will take effect July 1, 2017, and is designed to “reduce barriers to trade, investment, and worker mobility” between… Read more »

Do You Need a Commercial License for that Drone?

Recently, the federal government released “emergency” rules regarding recreational use of drones (UAVs), significantly restricting where and when drones could be used. Citing a 200% increase in commercial flight incidents with drones in just two years, the transport minister says the new rules begin immediately, with fines of up to $3,000 for violations. Commercial drone pilots already… Read more »

Cherilyn Nagel Breaks Down The Western Wheat Grower Annual Meeting

The Western Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) delegates gathered in Saskatoon recently to discuss issues, policies, and provide guidance to each other. As luck would have it, Shaun Haney met with former WCWGA president Cherilyn Nagel at the recent Advancing Women in Agriculture conference. Nagel and Haney sat down to talk about the convention and some of… Read more »

Ontario Announces Details of Pollinator Health Plan

Ontario has released its Pollinator Health Action Plan which includes focusing on four key stressors to honeybee and pollinator health and financial support and increased education for beekeepers. A re-iterated aspirational goal to “restore, enhance and protect” 1 million acres of pollinator habitat is also included in the plan. Found here, the plan is a mix of… Read more »

Health Canada Proposes 3-Year Phase Out of Imidacloprid, a Neonicotinoid

Stating a “weight of evidence” that neonicotinoid imidacloprid poses too high a risk to aquatic insects, Health Canada announced today a proposed three-year phase out of the insecticide. In Canada, imidacloprid is used in some cereal and potato seed treatments, as well as within the horticulture industry. Health Canada says it drew on data submitted… Read more »

Environment Minister Glen Murray Apologizes (!) to Ontario’s Farmers

Glen Murray is not the favourite son of Ontario’s farming industry. The Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has made few friends in the Ontario farm sector with his push to restrict use of neonicotinoid seed treatments, dismiss sound science, and impose the will of his urban-dominated government on the province’s farmers. That’s the… Read more »

OFA Leadership Race Focuses on Policy Reviews, Energy Costs, & Competitiveness

Keith Currie, who farms at Collingwood, Ont., is currently one of two vice presidents of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). Early next week, he’ll stand in front of the membership and ask them to vote him in as the new president, following two years of leadership under Don McCabe. It’s a critical time for policy… Read more »