ONTARIO — Ontario’s Government for the People is helping farmers by looking at how it can improve the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. The government is taking this important step to ensure the program works as it is intended to support farmers who lose livestock to predators.
“We heard from farmers that this program was no longer working for them and we are moving forward to address their concerns,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This is an opportunity for those affected by the program to provide their input on how we can remove red tape and improve program design.”
Ontario is seeking feedback from farmers, municipal investigators and members of the public on key areas for improvement of the program. A short survey is now available to get feedback. Comments are due by November 21. The government will review and analyze the comments received to identify how best to improve the program.
Feedback is sought on the following key areas:
- Sufficient evidence standards used to demonstrate wildlife predation
- Resources and tools to support farmers and municipalities
- Alignment of compensation values with market prices
- Appeals process
“We are on track to potentially deliver more changes in early 2019 to make sure the program works for farmers,” said Minister Hardeman. “I encourage everyone to use this opportunity to provide input on program adjustments that would work best for them.”
- The Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program provides financial assistance to owners whose livestock, poultry and/or honey bees damaged or killed by wildlife.
- The program is funded under the federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership agricultural policy framework.
- In September, Minister Hardeman announced updates to the Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN) requirement to make it easier for farmers to file claims, and made changes to the standardized pricing methodology to better reflect differing values of livestock. Both are now in effect.