Region 3 | Media Release

Ontario Superior Court Decision on NFU-O Accreditation

In 2013 The National Farmers Union – Ontario sought a judicial review of the Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal’s denial of accreditation for the National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O) for part of 2012 and all of 2013.

Mr. Justice Robert N. Beaudoin of the Ontario Superior Court decided the case and released his judgement on October 16, 2013. The final paragraph in his Reasons for Decision is as follows:

[81] There is a public duty to act in this case and the duty was owed to the Applicant. Having concluded that the Tribunal relied on irrelevant criteria in denying the Applicant standing to apply for accreditation, there is a clear right on the part of the NFU‑O to accreditation as has been recognized since 2002. There was no discretion on the part of the Tribunal to deny accreditation so long as the Applicant has satisfied the five prescribed criteria as I have concluded it had done. There is no other adequate remedy available to the Applicant. Because of the delay in dealing with the NFU‑O’s application in 2012, the NFU‑O’s name did not appear on the 2013 registration forms and the NFU‑O received very little revenue for this calendar year. If accreditation is denied, the NFU‑O will not receive funding for a second year and will not be able to continue to operate. There is no equitable bar to the relief sought and, on a balance of convenience, an order in the nature of mandamus directing the Tribunal to accredit the NFU‑O should be issued.

For the complete Reasons for Decision document see: National Farmers Union – Ontario v Ontario (Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal), 2013 ONSC 6452.

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