Ontario releases farm registration names

Despite strong objections from the three main farm organizations, Freedom-of-Information officials for the province have decided to release the names of all farms participating in the Farm Business Registration program.

Keith Currie: “we are concerned about the safety and security of our farm businesses and the serious risk this poses to them.”

Share Adjust Comment Print

Despite strong objections from the three main farm organizations, Freedom-of-Information officials for the province have decided to release the names of all farms participating in the Farm Business Registration program.

The identity of the person or organization that filed the request for the information remains confidential.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) said, “after consulting with a sample of farm businesses and carefully reviewing their feedback, the ministry has determined that specific exemptions apply to the farm business number.

“As such, the ministry has decided to withhold that part of the requested information, except where expressed consent was given to provide it to the requestor.”

President Keith Currie of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said “we are disappointed in the decision… (and) “we are concerned about the safety and security of our farm businesses and the serious risk this poses to them.”

The OFA, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario and National Farmers Union-Ontario released a joint statement in which Ed Scharringa, president of CFFO said, “We believe that farm business names constitute personal information and should therefore be protected.”

“We are concerned that OMAFRA’s decision to release this information could lead to harm for farmers, their families and their employees.”

“Only three per cent of farmers consulted by OMAFRA agreed to the release of their information,” said Don Ciparis, NFU-O president. “This is an unacceptably low consent rate on which to base an FOI decision.”

Farmers have been targeted by animal rights activists who have trespassed on some places to draw news media attention to their claims that animals and birds are being mistreated.

Comments