Bill 108, Government of Ontario Buy Local Food Act, 2010

Horwath, Andrea

Current Status: First Reading Carried

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Bill 108                                                        2010

An Act to require ministries of the Government of Ontario to buy local, local organic or local sustainable food

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Interpretation

   1.  In this Act,

“local” means food that is processed or unprocessed for which at least 80 per cent of the direct costs of production are returned to Ontario’s economy; (“aliments locaux”)

“local organic” means food that is local and for which,

  (a)  the production does not involve synthetic fertilizer, synthetic pesticides, synthetic growth regulators, synthetic allopathic veterinary drugs, synthetic processing substances, cloned farm animals, genetically engineered materials or products, or intentionally manufactured nano-technology products, and

  (b)  the packaging does not contain synthetic fungicide; (“aliments biologiques locaux”)

“local sustainable” means food that is local and for which the production meets standards of environmental and social sustainability prescribed by regulation. (“aliments locaux durables”)

Application

   2.  This Act applies to a ministry of the Government of Ontario in each year that the ministry is likely to spend more than $25,000 on food.

Duty to buy local, local organic or local sustainable

   3.  (1)  When a ministry subject to this Act buys food, it shall buy local, local organic or local sustainable, except where the cost of doing so is more than 10 per cent higher than the cost of buying food that is not local, local organic or local sustainable.

Same

   (2)  For the purposes of complying with subsection (1), a ministry shall assess the cost of food on a purchase by purchase basis.

Application

   (3)  This section applies beginning in the first calendar year after this Act comes into force and continues to apply in subsequent calendar years in addition to sections 4, 5 and 6.

Requirements beginning 2012

   4.  In each calendar year beginning January 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2014, a ministry subject to this Act shall ensure that, despite section 3, at least 10 per cent of its total expenditure on food is on food that is local.

Requirements beginning 2015

   5.  In each calendar year beginning January 1, 2015 and ending December 31, 2019, a ministry subject to this Act shall ensure that, despite section 3,

  (a)  at least 15 per cent of its total expenditure on food is on food that is local; and

  (b)  at least 5 per cent of its total expenditure on food is on food that is local organic or local sustainable.

Requirements beginning 2020

   6.  In each calendar year beginning January 1, 2020 and in each calendar year after that, a ministry subject to this Act shall ensure that, despite section 3,

  (a)  at least 20 per cent of its total expenditure on food is on food that is local; and

  (b)  at least 10 per cent of its total expenditure on food is on food that is local organic or local sustainable.

Annual reporting

   7.  In each calendar year beginning with the first calendar year after this Act comes into force, the Minister responsible for each ministry subject to this Act shall, by April 1 of the following calendar year,

  (a)  prepare a report containing information about its food purchases; and

  (b)  lay the report before the Assembly.

Regulations

   8.  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing environmental and social sustainability food production standards for the purpose of determining what constitutes local sustainable under section 1.

Considerations

   (2)  In making a regulation under subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may consider environmental and social sustainability practices that:

    1.  Reduce or eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

    2.  Avoid the use of hormones, antibiotics and genetic engineering.

    3.  Conserve soil and water.

    4.  Provide safe and fair working conditions for on-farm labour.

    5.  Provide healthy and humane care for livestock.

    6.  Protect and enhance wildlife habitat and biodiversity on working farm landscapes.

    7.  Reduce on-farm energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Commencement

   9.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

   10.  The short title of this Act is the Government of Ontario Buy Local Food Act, 2010.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill requires ministries of the Government of Ontario that spend more than $25,000 on food in a year to buy food that is local, local organic or local sustainable, except where the cost of doing so is more than 10 per cent higher than the cost of buying food that is not local, local organic or local sustainable.

The Bill also requires that, beginning in 2012 and increasing in 2015 and again in 2020, ministries subject to the Act spend a certain minimum percentage of their total annual food expenditures on local and local organic or local sustainable food, regardless of the cost of doing so.

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