Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program - Producers

OMAFRA is partnering with the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) to provide agri-food businesses, organizations and associations with educational resources, tools and consulting services to help them meet COVID-19 health and safety requirements. Additional details can be found online on the WSPS website.

Table of Contents: Cost Share Funding

  1. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership
  2. Overview
  3. Project Category 1: Occupational Health and Safety Measures
  4. Project Category 2: Enhancing Healthy Workforce Access and Accommodation
  5. Terms and Conditions
  6. Applying for Cost-share Funding
  7. Definitions
  8. Application Declaration
  9. Questions and Answers

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri-products sectors, and increase their competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability.

Overview

The governments of Canada and Ontario are helping agri-food businesses address new and immediate health and safety issues directly related to COVID-19 impacts.

Project Category 1: Occupational Health and Safety Measures

Project Category Description:

For projects to implement occupational health and safety measures related to COVID-19 on farms with intensive use of labour

To apply, you must:

  • Read, understand and agree to abide by all requirements set out in the Terms and Conditions, as well as all requirements given in this Project Category Description
  • Be an established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption. The farm business must involve intensive use of labour where employees may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for accommodating workers on- or off-site.
  • Be in compliance with all Requirements of the Law and remain in compliance for the duration of the project.

Eligible activities

Activities necessary to address a new and immediate health and safety issue directly related to COVID-19 response:

  • Modifications within an agricultural operation to ensure appropriate safety with regards to social distancing needs (e.g., physical barriers)
  • Acquiring personal protective equipment and other approved safety supplies for use throughout an agricultural operation and on-farm housing for workers
  • Cleaning and disinfection throughout an agricultural operation and on-farm housing for workers

Eligible Expenses

Incremental expenses specifically required for the implementation of eligible activities, and incurred on or after May 14, 2020, for the following:

  • Minor capital (physical/infrastructure) and temporary or permanent modifications (e.g., reconfigurations, shielding, barriers) and rental of temporary structures to enable workers to practice social distancing
  • Personal protective equipment for staff (e.g., masks, gloves and other protective gear)
  • Medical equipment (e.g., body temperature remote sensors, thermometers and cameras; COVID-related testing equipment)
  • Services (e.g., services to perform medical checks)
  • Cleaning/disinfection to increase frequency and extent of cleaning (e.g., equipment, cleaning supplies, and/or third-party cleaning services)

In order to be eligible, costs must be to procure goods and services through a transaction with a third-party that is at Arm's Length from the successful applicant. Any cost that is not incurred in this manner is not eligible.

When incurring eligible costs, successful applicants must follow a process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Expenses to address usual business practices, expansion or any other non-COVID-19 related objectives
  • Expenses for activities/practices that are not in accordance with any standard or guideline of an appropriate authority (e.g., Ontario Ministry of Labour)
  • In-kind contributions
  • Travel and meal costs
  • Activities and expenditures as detailed in the Terms and Conditions

Available Cost-share

  • 70 per cent, up to a maximum of $7,500 per project
  • A limit of one project per eligible business can be funded under the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers
  • A limit of one project per farm property can be funded under the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers

Application Assessment Process

All complete applications received are evaluated based only on the information submitted. Applications will not be considered if they do not meet eligibility criteria or if they are incomplete.

Complete applications that meet eligibility criteria will be considered on a continuous basis while funding is available.

Project Category 2: Enhancing Healthy Workforce Access and Accommodation

Purpose of Project Category

For projects to address workforce access and accommodations as a result of an on-farm outbreak of COVID-19

To apply you must:

  • Read, understand and agree to abide by all requirements set out in the Terms and Conditions, as well as all requirements given in this Project Category Description
  • Be an established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption. The farm business must:
    • involve intensive use of labour where employees may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for accommodating workers on- or off-site; and
    • be addressing an on-farm outbreak of COVID-19 based on having had one or more person at the operation test positive for COVID-19
  • Be in compliance with all Requirements of the Law and remain in compliance for the duration of the project

Eligible activities

  • Activities to support worker accommodations, work-site mobility and transportation with new arrangements that are necessary to address a new and immediate health and safety issue that directly responds to an on-farm COVID-19 outbreak

Eligible Expenses

Incremental expenses specifically required for the implementation of eligible activities, and incurred on or after May 14, 2020, for the following:

  • Short-term accommodations (e.g., hotel, dorm rentals, cleaning and sanitation supplies) to enable social distancing best practices and allow workers to attend workplaces to the limit of $80.00 per day per employee
  • Work-site mobility and transportation to enable employees to access the work site while practicing social distancing best practices to the limit of $60.00 per day per employee

In order to be eligible, costs must be to procure goods and services through a transaction with a third-party that is at Arm's Length from the successful applicant. Any cost that is not incurred in this manner is not eligible.

When incurring eligible costs, successful applicants must follow a process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Expenses to address usual business practices, expansion or any other non-COVID-19 objectives
  • Expenses for activities/practices that are not in accordance with any standard or guideline of an appropriate authority (e.g., Ontario Ministry of Labour)
  • In-kind contributions
  • Meal costs
  • Activities and expenses as detailed in the Terms and Conditions

Cost-share

  • 70 per cent, up to a maximum of $7,500 per project
  • A limit of one project per eligible business can be funded under the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers
  • A limit of one project per farm property can be funded under the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers

Application Assessment Process

All complete applications received are evaluated based only on the information submitted. Applications will not be considered if they do not meet eligibility criteria or if they are incomplete.

Complete applications that meet eligibility criteria will be considered on a continuous basis while funding is available.

Terms and Conditions

Applying for Cost-share Funding

When may projects start and finish?

Health and safety measures funded through the project should be in place no later than 30 days after notification of project approval.

Projects may start on or after the program launch date of May 14, 2020. Eligible costs can only be Incurred, invoiced and paid for on or after this date.

Projects must be implemented and completed no later than November 30, 2020, and according to all terms and conditions set out by the Province. This includes all terms and conditions set out in the application form and program guidelines.

Can I stack cost-share funding for the same project?

Applicants may access other government funding as long as those other programs also allow stacking. The maximum level of total assistance provided from all sources is 100 per cent of the total eligible costs.

All funding for a project, including from additional sources, must be listed on the application.

How do I submit an application?

Applicants can submit a completed application using the electronic application form with all supporting documentation by email to agpartnership@ontario.ca.

This form must be filled out using Adobe software, such as Adobe Reader or Adobe Pro. Other PDF reader software, including your internet browser, is not compatible with this form. If you use non-Adobe software, you may be prevented from filling out this form in its entirety, or the content that you enter may not save properly. If you do not already have Adobe software on your computer, you can download a free version here.

The electronic application form for Project Category 1 is available here.

The electronic application form for Project Category 2 is available here.

To save and complete the application form:

  1. Save the application form to your computer.
  2. >>>File>>>Save As...[give the file a name]...Save.
  3. Right click on the file and select open with Adobe (if Adobe isn't already your default PDF program)
  4. You can work on completing the application at any time.

If you submit an application by email, but do not receive an acknowledgement within three business days, please contact OMAFRA at: 1-877-424-1300.

How will I be notified of funding decisions?

The applicant will be notified by email once an application has been reviewed and a decision has been made. There are two possible outcomes:

  • Application is approved - the applicant will receive a notification of approval with details (e.g., the maximum value of approved funding)
  • Application is declined - the applicant will receive a brief explanation for the decision

Claiming Funding for Approved Projects

When is funding paid?

The successful applicant will be required to enter into a contractual agreement with OMAFRA, register through the Province of Ontario's Transfer Payment Common Registration (TPCR) system (an online registration tool) and receive a T4A for all funding paid by OMAFRA.

Approved funding is paid after the successful applicant has incurred and paid for all expenses and has submitted a Claim package that meets all requirements and has been approved by OMAFRA. Only one Claim may be submitted for each approved project.

Each eligible expenditure is reimbursed at the approved cost share funding percentage.

How is a Claim submitted?

Claims should be submitted to OMAFRA no later than the Claim deadline date that will be communicated by OMAFRA depending on the project timelines.

OMAFRA may request any additional information from the applicant that it considers necessary.

What the Claim package must contain:

  • Completed Claim Form
  • Proofs of payment
  • Copies of all paid invoices
  • Completed Final Report

Proof of payment must verify:

  • Who paid
  • Who received payment
  • The amount of payment
  • The date of payment

Proof of payment may be any one of the following:

  • Copy of front and back of cancelled cheque
  • Electronic image of processed cheque
  • Statement from banking institution indicating to whom the processed cheque was written, or electronic payment made, and for what amount
  • Credit card or debit card receipt or statement clearly identifying amount and to whom the payment was made. Credit card or debit card numbers and other information, including costs that are unrelated to the project, should be blacked out

Projects and Costs that are Not Eligible for Partnership Funding

What types of projects are ineligible?

Projects that are not eligible for cost-share funding under the Partnership include those that:

  • Have the sole purpose of coming into or maintaining compliance with Requirements of the Law that pertain to current business operations
  • Support activities related to aquaponic food production, aquaculture, seaweed, fish and seafood production and processing
  • Are located outside of Ontario

What costs are not eligible for funding?

Ineligible costs include but are not limited to costs identified below:

  • Costs Incurred before May 14, 2020 or after the project completion date agreed upon between the applicant and the Province of Ontario
  • Costs Incurred in preparing an application
  • Any cost for a good or service that is not specifically required for implementation of the project, or any cost for a good or service that will be used for a purpose outside of the project
  • Ongoing costs of establishing, expanding or operating a business/organization
  • Normal costs of a facility expansion
  • Goods or services provided by federal or provincial government departments or agencies
  • Deposits (prepayments) for which goods or services are not yet fully received
  • Honorariums
  • Membership costs
  • Consultant and other contractor expenses for any hospitality (e.g., provision of food or beverages at events), incidentals or food
  • Hospitality (e.g., venue rental, food, beverages, AV, etc.) unless approved by OMAFRA for the project
  • Purchase or lease of land, building or facilities
  • Costs of vehicles, transportation equipment, mobile material handling equipment (powered or unpowered), and construction and agriculture machinery (e.g., farm equipment)
  • Financing charges, loan and lease interest payments, bank fees and charges as well as debt restructuring or fundraising
  • Gifts and incentives
  • Permits and approvals
  • Legal fees
  • Costs related to activities that promote Ontario products explicitly over those of another province or territory
  • Costs related to activities that directly influence or lobby any level of government
  • Costs of basic research
  • Taxes, including Harmonized Sales Tax
  • Any refund or rebate the applicant receives or is eligible to receive
  • Any Capital Cost item that is funded by government sources at 75 per cent or more

Definitions

Arm's Length: An entity is considered Arm's Length if they are not related, not affiliated persons, or otherwise controlled by another member or members. Refer to Section 251 of the Income Tax Act (Canada) for the detailed statutory provision for determining Arm's Length relationships. If you have any questions about whether a supplier meets this requirement, please contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300.

Capital Costs: These include costs of machinery, equipment, software development/purchase and installation; renovations; site improvements; leasehold improvements; building improvements and construction.

Claim: A report submitted by the recipient to the Province of Ontario to provide the Province of Ontario with information on which to base a reimbursement payment. Claims must meet all of the requirements set out by the Province of Ontario.

Incurred (Cost): A cost for which a business has become liable to pay.

Requirements of Law: All applicable Requirements of Law, as may be set out in statutes, regulations, by-laws, ordinances, codes, official plans, rules, approvals, permits, licenses, authorizations, orders, decrees, injunctions, directions, agreements and applicable program guidelines.

Application Declaration

In order to apply, the applicant must agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership ("the Partnership").

The applicant must be a legal entity that is eligible for Partnership Cost-share Funding. The individual who signs the application form must be a person who is authorized by the applicant to sign the form on behalf of the applicant and to bind the applicant to the contents therein. This person is referred to as "you" below.

You must certify on the application that:

  • You have read, understand, and agree to abide by all requirements of the Partnership Cost-share Funding, including that your project is necessary to address a new and immediate health and safety issue directly related to a COVID-19 response, and that your project does not address usual business practices, expansion or other non-COVID-19 objectives.
  • All information submitted on the application is true and complete, to the best of your knowledge, belief and understanding.
  • All sources of funding for the proposed project, other than the applicants', have been disclosed in this application, including sources and amounts from federal, provincial and municipal governments, and such funds do not, and will, not exceed 100 per cent of total project costs.
  • The applicant does not currently owe any money to Ontario, or you have attached a description of the applicant's debt to Ontario to this application.
  • You are not, nor is any officer, director or employee of the applicant (if any) a current or former federal public office holder or federal public servant, or, if you, or any officer, director or employee of the applicant (if any) are a current or former federal public officer holder or federal public servant, you or that officer, director or employee of the applicant (if any) are in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-employment, as applicable.
  • You are not, nor is any officer, director or employee of the applicant (if any), a member of the House of Commons or of the Senate, or if you, or any officer, director or employee of the applicant (if any) are, you or the officer, director or employee of the applicant (if any) are permitted under the Parliament of Canada Act to receive funding from Canada under the Partnership.

You must further certify on the Application, that the applicant:

  • Shall retain all records relating to any payments made to the applicant under the Partnership including all invoices and proof of payment for at least seven (7) years from the date on which the contractual agreement expires.
  • Shall consent to Ontario, Ontario's program administrator (if any) or Canada publishing information about the project/activities funded including the amount of funding the applicant has been approved to receive and/or has received under the Partnership, the nature and results of any project/activities funded, along with the applicant's name.

You must further acknowledge and accept that:

  • The Partnership is a discretionary, non-entitlement program and the applicant is not entitled to funding merely as a consequence of submitting an application. Payment is subject to Ontario receiving all the necessary appropriations from the Ontario Legislature, Ontario receiving all the necessary monies from Canada, the applicant and the applicant's project (including all activities) satisfying eligibility criteria, eligible expenses criteria, as well as the applicant's compliance with all terms and conditions of the Partnership.
  • If it is determined the applicant has received a payment the applicant was not eligible to receive, through administrative error or otherwise, the applicant will repay any and all payments that the applicant was not eligible to receive as well as any surplus funding.
  • Any payments made to the applicant may be subject to recovery or offset against the applicant's pre-existing debts to the Crown in Right of Ontario or Canada.
  • Ontario, Ontario's program administrator (if any) or, Canada, including, their respective Ministers, directors, officers, agents, employees or representatives (as applicable) shall not be liable for any damage or loss whatsoever, or howsoever arising, including, damage or loss arising from any advice, opinions, representations, warranties or the provision of information under the Partnership.
  • The information provided for the Partnership may be disclosed by Ontario or Ontario's program administrator (if any) on behalf of Ontario to verify compliance with other provincial and federal funding initiatives administered by Ontario or another program administrator on behalf of Ontario or by Ontario in order to confirm the information provided, to verify eligibility and to ensure there is no duplication of funding.
  • The information provided to the Partnership may, with the exception of the Social Insurance Number of recipients of funding who are sole proprietors or unincorporated entities, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario), the Access to Information Act (Canada) or Privacy Act (Canada).

You must consent to the following on behalf of the applicant:

  • To provide accurate, timely and full information, including supporting documentation, to Ontario or Ontario's program administrator (if any) and will notify Ontario or Ontario's program administrator (if any) immediately in the event there are any changes to information provided.
  • To provide Canada, Ontario and Ontario's program administrator (if any), as well as their authorized representatives, with any information or access to a person, place or thing within ten (10) business days of any request, field verification or audit.
  • To comply with onsite field inspections and/or audits by Ontario or Ontario program administrator (if any) upon notice, and during normal business hours, to verify eligibility, and to evaluate compliance with the requirements of the Partnership.
  • To comply with reviews by Ontario of information related to other programs and initiatives delivered by, or for, Ontario in which the applicant is enrolled or has applied.
  • The use of the applicant's name and contact information by Ontario, Ontario's program administrator (if any) and/ or Canada to contact the applicant for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the Partnership programming, or for any other similar purpose.

In the event of a conflict between anything set out in Guidebooks, Guidelines and the Minister's Order, the Minister's Order will prevail.

Errors and Omissions Excepted

Questions and Answers

Q1. What is the purpose of the new Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers?

The Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers is designed to address new and immediate worker health and safety issues directly related to COVID-19. This programming has two streams available to Producers, the 'Occupational Health and Safety Measures' stream and the 'Workforce Access and Accommodation' stream.

The Occupational Health and Safety Measures stream is designed to support an established farm business that involves intensive use of labour where employees may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for accommodating workers on- or off-site. Program funding is meant to address new and immediate worker health and safety issues directly related to COVID-19. Farm Businesses can receive funding support to help implement new worker health and safety measures identified under the Occupational Health and Safety Act Emergency Orders, as well as public health directives and guidance issued by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer and the Ministry of Health.

The Enhancing Healthy Workforce Access and Accommodations stream is designed to help an established farm business that involves intensive use of labour (where employees may operate within close proximity of one another or the operator is responsible for accommodating workers on- or off-site) address an on-farm outbreak of COVID-19 (based on having one or more person at the operation test positive for COVID-19). Program funding is meant to support short-term worker accommodations, work-site mobility and transportation with new arrangements that are necessary to address a new and immediate health and safety issue that directly responds to an on-farm COVID-19 outbreak.

Q2. Who is eligible to apply under the Occupation Health and Safety Measures Stream of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers?

To be eligible to apply, applicant's must:

  • Read, understand and agree to abide by all requirements set out in the Terms and Conditions, as well as all requirements given in this Project Category Description
  • Be an established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption.
  • The farm business must involve intensive use of labour where employees may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for accommodating workers on- or off-site.
  • Be in compliance with all Requirements of Law and agree to remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law for the duration of the project

Q3. Who is eligible to apply under the Enhancing Healthy Workforce Access and Accommodations Stream of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers?

To be eligible to apply, applicant's must:

  • Read, understand and agree to abide by all requirements set out in the Terms and Conditions, as well as all requirements given in this Project Category Description
  • Be an established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption.
  • The farm business must involve intensive use of labour where employees may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for accommodating workers on- or off-site.
  • The farm business must be addressing an on-farm outbreak of COVID-19 based on having had one or more person at the operation test positive for COVID-19
  • Be in compliance with all Requirements of Law and agree to remain in compliance with all Requirements of Law for the duration of the project

Q4. What farm businesses are considered to involve "intensive use of labour"?

Intensive use of labour means, for example, that a farm relies on a labour force that may have the following characteristics: is sizable (e.g., 10 or more employees), involves members working in close proximity of each other, or is provided accommodation by the farm (on or off site). There may also be unique circumstances of individual farms that constitute intensive use of labour.

Q5. How much funding support can a Producer receive under the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program?

A producer can receive funding for one project in one of the two project categories under this programming stream. The funded project may be in either of the two project categories available and the cost-share available per project is 70 per cent of eligible costs, up to $7,500. A maximum of one project per eligible business / farm property will be funded.

Q6. How often can a business Apply?

Producers can receive funding for one project in one of the two project categories under this programming stream. The funded project may be in either of the two project categories available and the cost-share available per project is 70 per cent of eligible costs, up to $7,500.

A maximum of one project per eligible business / farm property will be funded, therefore one application may be submitted by a producer at a time. If the application is approved, additional projects will not be funded. If the application is not approved and the intake is still open, the applicant may submit a revised application.

Q7. How much is an Agri-Food Workplace Protection project expected to cost in total for a Producer?

Applicants must determine what project size is appropriate for them based on an assessment of the workforce safety measures they require to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst their workers.
A maximum of one project per eligible business / farm property can be funded under the intake at 70 per cent cost-share, up to $7,500.

Q8. When will the intake open?

This programming stream is now accepting applications. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.

For more information about this programming stream or to apply call: 1-877-424-1300.

Q9. When do projects start and finish?

If your project is approved, eligible costs can be incurred, invoiced and paid for on or after the opening of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers (May 14, 2020) . All projects must be in place no later than 30 days after notification of project approval and projects must be implemented and completed no later than November 30, 2020. Note projects may start on or after the program launch date of May 14, 2020.

Q10. How much time do I have to submit an application under the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program?

This cost-share funding has a continuous intake and will be accepting applications for as long as funding is available. All applications received by OMAFRA will be assessed against eligibility criteria and successful applicants will be notified if awarded for cost-share funding. Health and safety measures funded through the project should be in place no later than 30 days after notification of project approval and projects must be implemented and completed no later than November 30, 2020. Note projects may start on or after the program launch date of May 14, 2020 (eligible costs can only be incurred, invoiced and paid for on or after this date).

Q11. What minor capital is eligible for cost-share funding under the Occupational Health and Safety Measures cost-share category?

New Infrastructure, space reconfigurations as well as shields, barriers and rental of temporary structures to enable workers to practice social distancing are some of the project activities businesses could receive funding to implement under this programming. However, all modifications and/or structures being put in place to support social distancing must meet the standards and/or guidelines of all appropriate authority (i.e. Ontario Ministry of Labour regulations, The Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, public health directives and guidance issued by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Ministry of Health).

Q12. Are retro active costs eligible under the Producer programming of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program?

Projects may start on or after the program launch date of May 14, 2020. Eligible costs can only be Incurred, invoiced and paid for on or after this date. Although we recognize this is a difficult time for all businesses this programming is meant to address new or immediate worker health and safety issues directly related to COVID-19.

Q13. Can the cost of meals be included as part of accommodations or transportation costs?

Cost of meals are not eligible for funding.

Q14. What limits apply to the accommodations and transportation costs that are eligible for cost-share funding?

Accommodation and transportation costs are eligible under the Enhancing Healthy Workforce Access and Accommodations Stream of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers.

For accommodation, funding is available for up to $80.00 per worker per day.

For transportation, funding is available for up to $60.00 per worker per day. If mileage is being claimed for vehicles driven in Ontario, then a limit of 40 cents per kilometre applies. Note a lower limit may apply depending on the amount of kilometres claimed.

In order to be eligible, the most economical accommodation and transportation option must be chosen.

Q15. What if I receive funding for expenses that are allowable under AgriStability?

If you receive funding for expenses that are allowable under AgriStability, that portion of the payment will be included as allowable income for your AgriStability program year margin. Reference the Program payment lists in the RC4060 guide to enter the program payment code, name, and amount under the "Commodity sales and program payments" section of the T1163 Statement A - AgriStability and AgriInvest Program form.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca