Ontario removing overlapping licence requirements
By Top Crop Manager
Ontario is looking into ways to streamline licensing for farmers and processors to reduce regulatory burden.
Ernie Hardeman, provincial Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), was at FS Partners, an agri-business in Ayr, to speak about licence modernization, which was announced in last week’s 2019 Ontario Budget.
“I’ve heard from farmers and agriculture sector leaders who say the licence forms are too complicated, too time consuming and that there are too many fees,” said Hardeman. “On top of that, they said some licences simply duplicate federal and municipal ones. That’s inefficient and doesn’t make sense. It’s why we are looking at ways to improve and streamline licensing so farmers and processors can spend less time on paperwork and focus on growing their businesses and supporting good jobs.”
Forms, renewal periods, processing times and fees all vary across the more than 20 licence, permit and certification programs OMAFRA delivers. The government will identify ways to modernize licensing and certification processes to reduce regulatory burden, while maintaining standards to keep Ontario workers and families safe and healthy.
Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs issues more than 5,000 licences, certificates and permits annually. The province will review all existing processes that allow a business to operate or conduct a specified activity but no specifics have been determined on which sectors will see changes at this time. OMAFRA is currently engaging with businesses in the agri-food sector and any changes to processes will be communicated before they are implemented.
The announced improvements are part of the government’s multi-year plan to reduce regulatory red tape affecting businesses by 25 per cent.