Bill 36, Local Food Act, 2013

Wynne, Hon Kathleen O. Minister of Agriculture and Food

Current Status: Royal Assent received Chapter Number: S.O. 2013 C.7

Viewing: Royal Assent (current version) pdf

Bill 36                                                          2013

An Act to enact the Local Food Act, 2013and to amend the Taxation Act, 2007 to provide for a tax credit to farmers for donating certain agricultural products that they have produced

Preamble

Ontario has robust and resilient local food systems: a highly productive agricultural land base, a favourable climate and water supply, efficient transportation and distribution systems, and knowledgeable, innovative farmers, food processors, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs. These resources help ensure that local food systems thrive throughout the province, allowing the people of Ontario to know where their food comes from and connect with those who produce it.

The variety of food produced, harvested and made in Ontario reflects the diversity of its people. This variety is something to be celebrated, cherished and supported. Strong local and regional food systems deliver economic benefits and build strong communities.

Maintaining and growing Ontario’s local and regional food systems requires a shared vision and a collaborative approach that includes working with public sector organizations. The process of setting goals and targets to which the people of Ontario can aspire provides an opportunity to work with industry, the public sector and other partners to promote local food and to develop a shared understanding of what needs to be done to support local food in Ontario.

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

Purposes

   1.  The purposes of this Act are as follows:

    1.  To foster successful and resilient local food economies and systems throughout Ontario.

    2.  To increase awareness of local food in Ontario, including the diversity of local food.

    3.  To encourage the development of new markets for local food.

Definitions

   2.  In this Act,

“agency of the Government of Ontario” means a public body designated in regulations made under the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006; (“organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario”)

“hospital” means,

  (a)  a hospital within the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act,

  (b)  a private hospital within the meaning of the Private Hospitals Act that received public funds in the previous fiscal year of the Government of Ontario, and

   (c)  the University of Ottawa Heart Institute/Institut de cardiologie de l’Université d’Ottawa; (“hôpital”)

“local food” means,

  (a)  food produced or harvested in Ontario, including forest or freshwater food, and

  (b)  subject to any limitations in the regulations, food and beverages made in Ontario if they include ingredients produced or harvested in Ontario; (“aliments locaux”)

“Minister” means, unless the context requires otherwise, the Minister of Agriculture and Food or such other member of the Executive Council as may be assigned the administration of this Act under the Executive Council Act; (“ministre”)

“ministry” means, unless the context requires otherwise, the ministry of the Minister; (“ministère”)

“public sector organization” means,

  (a)  a ministry of the Government of Ontario,

  (b)  an agency of the Government of Ontario,

   (c)  a municipality within the meaning of the Municipal Act, 2001,

  (d)  a university in Ontario and every college of applied arts and technology and post-secondary institution in Ontario whether or not affiliated with a university, the enrolments of which are counted for purposes of calculating annual operating grants and entitlements,

  (e)  a board within the meaning of the Education Act,

   (f)  a hospital,

  (g)  a long-term care home within the meaning of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007,

  (h)  a corporation described in clause (f) of the definition of “designated broader public sector organization” in subsection 1 (1) of the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2010,

    (i)  any other organization prescribed by regulation. (“organisme du secteur public”)

Local Food Week

   3.  The week beginning on the first Monday in June in each year is proclaimed as Local Food Week.

Goals and targets

   4.  (1)  The Minister shall, to further the purposes of the Act, establish goals or targets to aspire to in the following areas:

    1.  Improving food literacy in respect of local food.

    2.  Encouraging increased use of local food by public sector organizations.

    3.  Increasing access to local food.

Timing

   (2)  Each goal or target shall be established within one year after the day the relevant paragraph in subsection (1) comes into force.

Additional goals

   (3)  The Minister may, to further the purposes of the Act, establish additional goals or targets to aspire to in respect of local food.

Consultation

   (4)  Before establishing or amending a goal or target, the Minister shall consult organizations that, in the Minister’s opinion, have an interest in the goal or target.

Scope

   (5)  A goal or target may be general or particular in its application and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may be established in respect of,

  (a)  one or more types of local food specified in the goal or target;

  (b)  one or more entities specified in the goal or target, including one or more public sector organizations; or

   (c)  one or more specified geographic areas.

Identification of public sector organization

   (6)  If a goal or target applies to one or more public sector organizations, the goal or target shall specify the public sector organization or organizations to which it applies.

Publication of goals and targets

   (7)  The Minister shall publish each goal and target established under this section on a Government of Ontario website, together with a summary of the information the Minister relied on to establish the goal or target.

Non-application of the Legislation Act, 2006, Part III

   (8)  Part III (Regulations) of the Legislation Act, 2006 does not apply to a goal or target established under this section.

Information to be provided to Minister

   5.  (1)  The Minister may direct a public sector organization to provide the Minister with specified information in order to assist the Minister in,

  (a)  establishing a goal or target or determining the actions required to meet a goal or target;

  (b)  understanding the steps that are being taken or have been taken to meet a goal or target;

   (c)  assessing the progress that is being made or has been made toward meeting a goal or target; or

  (d)  preparing a report under section 6.

Public sector organization to provide information

   (2)  If the Minister directs a public sector organization to provide information, the public sector organization shall provide the information on or before the deadline specified by the Minister in the direction.

Annual report

   6.  (1)  The Minister shall prepare an annual report that,

  (a)  summarizes the government’s activities in respect of local food;

  (b)  describes the local food goals or targets that have been established under the Act;

   (c)  summarizes the steps that have been taken and the progress that has been made by public sector organizations in respect of goals or targets; and

  (d)  includes such other information as the Minister determines.

Publication

   (2)  The Minister shall publish the report on a Government of Ontario website.

Regulations

   7.  The Minister may make regulations,

  (a)  limiting what constitutes local food under clause (b) of the definition of “local food” in section 2;

  (b)  prescribing organizations for the purposes of the definition of “public sector organization” in section 2.

Taxation Act, 2007

   8.  (1)  Subsection 16 (2) of the Taxation Act, 2007 is amended by striking out “sections 17 to 22” at the end and substituting “sections 17 to 22 and 103.1.2”.

   (2)  The Act is amended by adding the following Part:

Part IV.0.1
Non-Refundable Tax Credits

Community food program donation tax credit for farmers

   103.1.2  (1)  In this section,

“agricultural product” has the meaning prescribed by the regulations; (“produit agricole”)

“eligible community food program” means a person or entity that,

  (a)  is engaged in the distribution of food to the public without charge in Ontario, including as a food bank,

  (b)  is registered as a charity under the Federal Act, and

   (c)  satisfies the other conditions that are prescribed by the regulations; (“programme alimentaire communautaire admissible”)

“eligible person” means,

  (a)  an individual who carries on the business of farming in Ontario or his or her spouse or common-law partner, or

  (b)  a corporation that carries on the business of farming in Ontario. (“personne admissible”)

Qualifying donation

   (2)  A donation is a qualifying donation for a taxation year if both of the following criteria are met:

    1.  The donation is a donation of one or more agricultural products produced in Ontario by an eligible person and is donated by an eligible person to an eligible community food program in Ontario.

    2.  The donation is made on or after January 1, 2014.

Amount of the tax credit, individuals

   (3)  An eligible person who is an individual and who was resident in Ontario on the last day of a taxation year ending after the date prescribed by the Minister of Finance may deduct from the amount of tax otherwise payable for the year under Division B of Part II a community food program donation tax credit not exceeding the amount calculated using the formula,

A × B

in which,

  “A”  is the sum of the fair market value of each qualifying donation, the fair market value of which was used in calculating the amount deducted by the individual under subsection 9 (21) in computing the amount of his or her tax payable for the year under Division B of Part II, and

  “B”  is 25 per cent.

Amount of the tax credit, corporations

   (4)  An eligible person that is a corporation may deduct from the amount of tax otherwise payable for the year under Division B of Part III, for a taxation year ending after the date prescribed by the Minister of Finance, a community food program donation tax credit not exceeding the amount calculated using the formula,

C × D

in which,

  “C”  is that part of the person’s qualifying donations for the year that was deducted by the person under subsection 110.1 (1) of the Federal Act in computing the person’s taxable income for the year, and

  “D”  is 25 per cent.

Trusts

   (5)  A trust is not entitled to a tax credit under this section.

Regulations

   (6)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing any rules the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for the purposes of the proper administration of the credit under this section.

Commencement

   9.  This Act comes into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

   10.  The short title of this Act is the Local Food Act, 2013.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 36 and does not form part of the law.  Bill 36 has been enacted as Chapter 7 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2013.

 

The Local Food Act, 2013 is enacted. Highlights of the Act are as follows:

    1.   The week beginning on the first Monday in June in each year is proclaimed as Local Food Week.

    2.   The Minister of Agriculture and Food must establish local food goals or targets to aspire to in respect of the matters listed in the Bill. The Minister may also set additional targets. The Minister must engage in consultation before setting the goals or targets. The Minister may direct a public sector organization to provide information that would assist the Minister in establishing goals or targets, understanding steps that are being taken or have been taken to meet a goal or target, or assessing progress that is being made or has been made toward meeting a goal or target.

    3.   The Minister must prepare an annual report about local food activities.

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