Rainbow

Rainbow

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ontario Chicken Producer denied stay of out-of-province processing moratorium

Mr. Henry Bos filed a motion under section 25 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act (the MAFRAA) for a stay of the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) Regulation 2274-2009 (the Regulation) and Policy 175-2009 (the Policy).  Mr. Bos proposed the stay operate until the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Tribunal disposes of his appeal of the Regulation and Policy, and that the stay operate to exempt all kilograms allocated to him by CFO.

The Regulation imposed a moratorium on approval for any new processing contracts between Ontario chicken producers like Mr. Bos and out of province chicken processors. The Policy suspended chicken production quota allocations to Ontario chicken producers who entered into new processing contracts with out of province chicken processors. As part of the moratorium, CFO grandfathered any existing processing contracts between Ontario chicken producers and out of province processors.

The Tribunal commented in its decision on the nature of a "stay":
The parties appear to agree that the controlling authority in Ontario in a fact situation with some parallels is the Divisional Court decision in Denby v. Ontario 2006 CanLII 63736. At paragraph 40, the Court stated:
A "stay in the matter" may refer to a maintenance of a status quo in terms of the conduct or entitlement of a party. It does not, to repeat ourselves for emphasis, result in the automatic "suspension" of legislation validly enacted or to be enacted in the future. To suggest otherwise would be patently illogical.
It is clear from that authority, that a stay is intended to preserve a "status quo". The Tribunal finds the corollary of that principle is that a stay is not intended to expand beyond the status quo prevailing when the appeal was commenced.
The Tribunal dismissed Bos' motion for a stay.  It found that a stay was not required to preserve the "status quo" for Bos as it existed at the time he filed his appeal of the Regulation and Policy.  Even though Bos' Ontario processor (which took 80% of his production) cancelled his contract, CFO maintained that it would be required to find a new processor to take up the slack. 

Note that this is an interim decision on the motion for a stay.  No decision has yet been made on the actual appeal of the Regulation and Policy.
Read the decision at: Henry Bos v. Chicken Farmers of Ontario - Motion Hearing.