The Regional Economic Development Branch, North Region Team (NRT) provides support to municipalities involved with the agriculture sector. This support often comes in the form of responding to specific questions about agriculture related economic development opportunities, and frequently about regulatory aspects of the industry. In response to these inquiries, the NRT developed the “Municipal Regulatory Toolkit for Agriculture” (designed to meet the needs of northern Ontario Municipalities).
This toolkit describes the authority municipalities have to regulate and support the agriculture and agri-food sectors within their jurisdiction, such as:
- Minimum Distance Separation
- Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program
- Permit To Take Water
- Line Fence Act
- Programs and Services for Ontario Farmers
Municipal staff and Councillors can use this resource as an option when seeking to understand legislation and details of the broader roles in which municipalities may participate within the agriculture and agri-food sectors.
The development of the toolkit is an excellent example of how the NRT responds to a need and fulfills that need in an exemplary manner. Going forward, this toolkit is one example of tools and resources that the NRT will develop, responsively and professionally, in supporting agriculture opportunities in northern Ontario.
The toolkit is not a complete statement of the law or of all protocols that may be relevant to municipalities regulating and supporting the agriculture and agri-food sectors. The users of the toolkit are solely responsible for ensuring that they know and comply with all relevant federal, provincial and municipal laws, regulations, and by-laws related to the agriculture and agri-food sectors within Ontario.
OMAFRA has Agriculture Development Advisors located across Northern Ontario, who are available to discuss ways of supporting and encouraging the development of the agriculture and agri-food sectors within your municipality.
By Brian Bell, Agriculture Development Advisor