UPDATE: The NFU-O is encouraged by the recent communications from the government, promising that Bill 97, if passed, would not affect the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement or have it go into force. The government stated they want to ‘continue working with the agricultural sector to look at alternatives that would assist farm families in succession planning, but do not involve additional severances’. They have extended the consultation deadline on the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement from June 5th to August 4th. Please continue to send the letter below, and add your own comments by August 4th.
The Ontario government’s newly introduced Bill 97 and Proposed Provincial Planning Statement will weaken farmland protections by allowing up to three lot severances per farm parcel in prime agricultural areas province-wide for residential, non-farm uses in addition to weakening important protections for specialty crop areas.
This legislation will have impact on all Ontario farmers now and in the future, including:
- fragmenting and permanently removing farmland from productive agricultural use
- limiting farm business growth
- inflating farmland prices
- creating conflict with non-farming residential neighbours
- adding significant new burden to already stretched municipal and regional services and service providers
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario(CFFO), and the National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O), along with numerous commodity and agricultural organizations are united in their opposition to Bill 97 and the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement.
The provincial government wants to hear from individual farmers by June 5, 2023. Your voice is needed to tell the government that farmland must be protected for farming – to ensure the current and future value of agriculture to the province’s economy, to our long-term food security, and long-term vibrant rural communities.
Together, OFA, CFFO and NFU-O are asking you to personally tell provincial political leaders that removing farmland protections in the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement is short-sighted and will undermine your work in contributing to the provincial economy, your rural community, and protecting our local and long-term food security.
Use our action tool below to communicate your concerns to Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing at email@example.com, and
- Doug Ford, Premier
- Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- John Vanthof, Opposition House Leader and Critic, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Marit Stiles, Leader, Official Opposition
- Mike Schreiner, Leader, Green Party of Ontario
- John Fraser, Interim Leader, Liberal Party of Ontario
You can edit the letter to personalize it – just start typing in the message window to add your own comments. Please send your letter by no later than August 4, 2023.
Take Action! Speak up to protect Ontario’s farmland for farmingRead or Edit the Letter
Other actions you can take:
- When you receive the bcc copy of your letter, forward the message to your local MPP. You can find your MPP’s email and phone contact info by typing in your postal code here.
- Call your MPP and schedule a meeting to share with them directly why you are opposed to farmland severance and residential lot creation on agricultural land.
- Join others on social media to share the urgent message – Post a photo of you on your farm to social media and tell us why you are speaking up to protect Ontario’s farmland for farming. Use the hashtags #WeWillNotBeDivded and #OpposeBill97, and remember to tag the NFU-O so we can share!
- Share with family, friends and neighbours and ask them to have their say
For More Information:
The provincial government has introduced a list of Acts that will impact farmland and farming:
And, under Bill 97, the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement, which has the potential to forever alter the rural landscape and the future of farming in Ontario.
Review this insightful presentation by Margaret Walton, Dr. Wayne Caldwell and Dr. Pam Duesling on the ‘Impact of New Proposed Provincial Planning Statement: Lot Creation Policies’ to learn more about how lot creation will forever impact farming in Ontario.