Grain Farmers of Ontario pursues ‘absurdity test’ on neonic regulations

Notice of Application Filed Against Ontario Government

GUELPH, ON (June 29, 2015) – Grain Farmers of Ontario has commenced legal proceedings against the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

“Late last week, Grain Farmers of Ontario filed a request to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to provide an interpretation of the neonicotinoid treated seed regulations,” says Mark Brock, Chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “There are numerous areas of serious concern for farmers and the grain industry within the regulations and we believe it is critical that the regulations be thoroughly reviewed by the Court.”

The regulations are scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2015. Grain Farmers of Ontario is also asking the Superior Court to delay the implementation of the proposed regulations until May 1, 2016 or ‘such time as the requirements of the Regulation can reasonably be met’. If the Court provides a stay against the regulations, farmers will be able to plant next year under the same rules followed this planting season.

With just days until the July 1, 2015 implementation date for the Government of Ontario’s regulations, Grain Farmers of Ontario is advising farmers to continue to monitor the case, as it is hoped relief from the regulations will come in the month of July, prior to seed orders for 2016.

“The decision to seek legal action against the Government of Ontario was not easy and is unprecedented in the history of our organization, but it is necessary and the outcome of our multi-step legal strategy will be critical to the livelihood of grain farmers across the province,” says Barry Senft, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are asking farmers and our agriculture partners for their patience in allowing the first steps of this request for a stay — to delay implementation of the regulations — to be heard, before the agricultural community responds to the regulations.”

A press event for media questions will be held at 2:00 today – contact Meghan Burke at 226-820-6641 or mburke@gfo.ca for call-in details. Grain Farmers of Ontario will provide updates to the grain industry and farmer-members as they become available. 

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Contact:

Mark Brock, Chair – 519-274-3297; cropper01@hotmail.com

Meghan Burke, Communications – 519 767-2773; mburke@gfo.ca

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.