Minister's Order: Grassroots Growth Program [0007/2020]

Whereas the Program was established on April 17, 2019 by Minister’s Order 0007/2019 for the encouragement of agriculture and food within Ontario;

and whereas ections 49 and 54 of the Legislation Act, 2006 have the effect of providing the Minister with the power to amend, revoke or replace from time to time an order establishing a program under section 6.2 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act;

and whereas I, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, wish to make changes to the Program to ensure that it is fully meeting the requirements of Ontario and its stakeholders;

now therefore, and pursuant to my authority under section 6.2 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act and sections 49 and 54 of the Legislation Act, 2006, I hereby order the Previous Order be amended as follows:

Part 1 - Interpretation

  1. For the purposes of this Order, the following terms shall have the meanings set out below:

    "Order" means this Minister’s Order;

    "Previous Order" means the order known as Minister’s Order 0007/2019 establishing the Program; and

    "Program" means the Grassroots Growth Program.

  2. Any capitalized term not defined within this Order shall have the same meaning as set out under the Previous Order.

Part 2 - Amendments to the recitals and definitions in the previous order

  1. The second recital of the Previous Order is amended by revoking the word “future”.

  2. The third recital of the Previous Order is amended by revoking the words “project -based”.

  3. The definition of “Guidelines” in section 1.2 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    • “Guidelines” means any written document setting out the criteria governing the operation of an Initiative established pursuant to this Order;

  4. The following is added to section 1.2 of the Previous Order:

    • “Initiative” means an initiative established under the Program;

    • “Initiative Director” means the Director of the branch within the Ministry that is primarily responsible for or that has the greater interest in the Initiative and includes any acting Director of the branch within the Ministry that is primarily responsible for or that has the greater interest in the Initiative as well as any successor position;

    • “Participant” means a Person who has been accepted to participate in an Initiative;

  5. The definition of “Person” in section 1.2 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    “Person” for the purposes of this Order means a legal entity and may include:

    1. An individual, including the administrator of a deceased’s individual’s estate;

    2. A corporation;

    3. A partnership;

    4. A band council within the meaning of the Indian Act (Canada); or

    5. An unincorporated association;

  6. The definition of “Program Operator” in section 1.2 of the Previous Order is revoked. “Initiative Director” will be substituted wherever “Program Operator” appears in the Previous Order.

Part 3 - Amendments to Part III - Terms of the grassroots growth program in the previous order

  1. The following is added after section 3.3:

    Commencement of an initiative

    1. 3.4 An Initiative will commence on the date set out in the Guidelines for that Initiative.

    Termination of an Initiative

    1. 3.5 An Initiative will terminate if the Program is terminated pursuant to sections 3.2 or 3.3 of this Order. Notice of the termination of the Initiative will be provided in accordance with this Order.

    2. 3.6 Despite anything else in this Order, the Program Administrator may terminate an Initiative if the Program Administrator is of the opinion there is an insufficient funding in the budget for any payment that is to be made under the Initiative. Where the Initiative is terminated pursuant to this section, the following rules will apply:

      1. The Initiative Director will post, or cause to be posted, a notice on the Ministry’s website where a copy of this Order is posted setting out the Initiative has been terminated and the date the Initiative was terminated; and

      2. Any payments under an Initiative for which there is no budget will not be paid.

    3. 3.7 Despite anything else in this Order, the Program Administrator may terminate an Initiative if the Program Administrator is of the opinion the Initiative should not continue. Where the Program Administrator terminates an Initiative pursuant to this section of the Order, the following will apply:

      1. The Initiative Director will post, or cause to be posted, a notice on the Ministry’s website where a copy of this Order is posted setting out the Initiative has been terminated and the date the Initiative was terminated; and

      2. Any payments owing under the Initiative as of the date it was terminated will be paid.

    4. 3.8 For greater certainty, the termination of one or more Initiatives under the Program does not terminate all Initiatives under the Program nor the Program itself.

Part 4 - Amendments to part v - administration of the grassroots growth program in the previous order

  1. Section 5.1 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    1. 5.1 The Program Administrator will be responsible for the overall administration of the Program including monitoring the performance of all aspects of the Program.

  2. Section 5.2 of the Previous Order is amended by revoking and replacing paragraphs (c) through (e) with the following:

    1. Creating Guidelines that are consistent with this Order and which may include:

    2. Administrative deadlines,

    3. Evaluation criteria

    4. Eligible Expenses

    5. Rules, terms and conditions for making any Payments under the Initiative whether funding is request-based or otherwise, and merit based or otherwise,

    6. Record-keeping requirements,

    7. Reporting requirements;

    8. Approving anything that needs to be approved for the Initiative that has not been assigned to the Initiative Director;

    9. Making decisions under sections 6.6, 6.7, 6.8 and 6.8.1 of this Order; and

    10. Carrying out all other administrative functions required for the successful operation of the Initiative.

  3. Sections 5.6, 5.7 and 5.9 of the Previous Order are amended by replacing “Program” with “Initiative”.

Part 5 - Amendment to part vi - the grassroots growth program in the previous order

  1. Section 6.1 of the Previous Order is amended by revoking and replacing it with the following:

    1. 6.1 At a minimum, to be eligible under an Initiative the following requirements must be met in addition to being a Person:

      1. Submit a written request if the Guidelines so provide, that satisfies the criteria set out in the Guidelines, including any administrative deadlines indicated in the Guidelines;

      2. Provide prior to receiving the Payment:

        1. Its CRAN, or

        2. Its SIN if the Person is not eligible to receive a CRAN and is eligible to receive a Payment under the Initiative;

      3. Disclose all other public sources of funding being provided for the Project, if the Initiative is Project-based;

      4. Agree to be bound by the requirements, terms and conditions of the Initiative, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines;

      5. Be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law at the time that a request for funding is submitted, including a proposed Project and be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the Initiative; and

      6. Any request for funding submitted, including a proposed Project, and Payment must meet one or more of the objectives set out in section 2.1.

  2. Section 6.2 of the Previous Order is revoked.

  3. Section 6.3 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    1. 6.3 Where requests for funding are submitted, including proposed Projects, such requests will be evaluated by employees within the Ministry.

  4. Section 6.4 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    1. 6.4 Where the Guidelines set out requirements for the submission of requests for funding, the Guidelines will also set out evaluation criteria for those requests, which may include criteria such as whether the request, and/or any proposed Project:

      1. Aligns with government/Ministry priorities;

      2. Is being funded or would be more appropriately funded by a different source or program;

      3. Has a scope that is well-defined with clear objectives;

      4. Will provide valuable contributions to the intended outcomes relative to the funding sought;

      5. Is being applied for on behalf of the most appropriate person; and

      6. Has established mechanisms to appropriately mitigate the risks associated with operation and performance.

  5. Section 6.5 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    1. 6.5 The Minister will make decisions on any proposed Project or other request for funding under the Program where the Initiative is merit-based.

  6. Section 6.6 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced by the following:

    1. 6.6 An Applicant or Recipient that provides false or misleading information or allows false or misleading information to be provided on the Applicant or Participant’s behalf under the Program may be subject to any of the following, depending on the circumstances:

      1. Loss of eligibility to participate or to continue participating for a period of time or indefinitely in that Initiative;

      2. Loss of eligibility to participate or to continue participating for a period of time or indefinitely in other Initiatives under the Program or in the Program itself;

      3. Loss of eligibility to participate or to continue participating for a period of time or indefinitely in any other Ministry program; and

      4. Requirement to repay any Payments received.

  7. Section 6.8 of the Previous Order is amended by replacing “Applicant” with “Person”.

  8. The following is added after section 6.8 of the Previous Order:

    1. 6.8.1 An Applicant or Recipient that does not comply with a request for information or refuses to participate in any audits conducted under the Program may be subject to any of the following, depending on the circumstances:

      1. Payments being withheld;

      2. Loss of eligibility to participate or to continue participating in the Program for a period of time or indefinitely; and

      3. Requirement to repay any Payments received.

  9. The following is added after section 6.9 of the Previous Order:

    1. 6.9.1 Despite section 6.9, the Guidelines may allow for Payments to be made where the Participant has not incurred “Eligible Costs”.

  10. Section 6.10 of the Previous Order is amended by replacing “6.5” with “6.9”.

Part V – amendment to part VII – collection, use and disclosure of information under the program in the previous order

  1. Sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the Previous Order are amended by adding “/Recipients/Participants” after “Applicants”.

  2. Section 7.4 of the Previous Order is amended by adding the following after “CRA BN”:

    • and that Participant is eligible to receive a Payment under an Initiative.

  3. The following is added after section 7.5 of the Previous Order:

    1. 7.6 When collecting, using and disclosing information under this Part VII of the Order, personal information, as defined under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, will not be collected, used or disclosed if the purpose for collecting, using or disclosing such information can be achieved by using non-personal information.

  4. Sections 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 and 8.4 of the Previous Order is amended by replacing “A Person that applied to the Program” and “The Person” with “An Applicant/ Recipient/Participant”.

Part vi – amendment to part ix – general under the program in the previous order

  1. Section 9.2 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced with the following:

    1. 9.2 Any Program Payments a Participant may be eligible to receive under an Initiative may be pro-rated in the event there are insufficient funds to make full payments under the Initiative. The Initiative Director will determine whether there are sufficient funds as well as any rate of proration that is to be made.

  2. Section 9.6 of the Previous Order is revoked and replaced with the following:

    1. 9.6 The termination of this Program or any Initiative will not, in any way, affect the obligation of a Recipient to repay any outstanding amounts owing under this Program.

  3. The following is added after section 9.7 of the Previous Order:

    1. 9.8 Any Person who receives a Payment under the Program will retain records relating to that Payment for a period of seven (7) years from the expiration or termination of the agreement through which the Payment was received unless the Guideline provides otherwise.

Original signed by

The Honourable Ernie Hardeman
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Executed on this 14th day of August, 2020.

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