Response to 17-16 - Government Program Development and Evaluation
Part of BFO’s mandate is to ensure Ontario beef interests are well represented in the development of legislation, programs, and other strategic initiatives that impact beef producers and the overarching Ontario beef industry.
Decisions on funding support provided to producers are not typically made by industry or farm representatives but rather by civil servants that apply merit-based scoring to assess applications, although there are some exceptions depending on the funding program. BFO provided input on the funding decision structure for producer cost-share programs under each of the Agricultural Policy Frameworks (including Growing Forward 2) and supported the current merit-based system of review, which doesn’t include an industry oversight panel.
Ultimately, government programs such as Growing Forward and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) are developed by the federal and provincial governments with industry involvement. BFO places a high priority on taking an active role in these discussions and welcomes all opportunities to provide input to government and other bodies on matters that affect beef farmers. In 2017, BFO submitted comments on more than 20 government consultations on federal and provincial issues ranging from transportation, trade, land use planning, antimicrobial use and more. All BFO submissions can be found under the Issues section of BFO’s website.
As the structure, rules, and delivery of government programs are ultimately formulated and finalized internally by government bodies, the consultation process is the designated stage for external organizations such as BFO to influence the development of these programs. This is in addition to direct advocacy efforts with elected officials at both levels of government.
BFO’s advocacy efforts have focused on ensuring that the various producer funding programs support beef initiatives and beef priorities as opposed to ensuring producer representation in decision-making efforts on funding applications. However, BFO will ensure there is a beef representative appointed should such a body be created.
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