whereas agriculture provides an important economic and social contribution within Ontario;

and whereas Rural Ontario is unique and serves important functions within Ontario;

and whereas the community development contributions of Rural Ontario should be given special recognition and Rural Ontario should be given its own forum to express its concerns to the Government of Ontario so that the Government of Ontario can hear and consider those concerns;

and whereas section 4 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provides the Minister with the authority in relation to the administration of laws relating to agriculture, food and rural affairs and all of their branches;

and whereas section 6.2(1) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act provides the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs with the authority to establish programs for the encouragement of agriculture, food and rural affairs within Ontario;

and whereas I believe that such a program should be established to provide Rural Ontario with the recognition it deserves;

now therefore and pursuant to my authority under sections 6.2(1) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Act, the program known as the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Program is hereby established for the encouragement of rural affairs within Ontario, as of August 13, 2017.

Part 1 – Interpretation

Interpretation

  1. For the purposes of interpreting this Order:
    1. Words in the singular include the plural and vice versa;
    2. Words in one gender include all genders;
    3. The headings do not form part of this Order; they are for reference purposes only and will not affect the interpretation of this Order;
    4. Any reference to dollars or currency in this Order will be to Canadian dollars and currency;
    5. Any reference to a statute means a statute of the Province of Ontario, unless otherwise indicated;
    6. Any reference to a statute is to that statute and to the regulations made pursuant to that statute as they may be amended from time to time and to any statute or regulations that may be passed that have the effect of supplanting or superseding that statute or regulation unless a provision of this Order provides otherwise; and
    7. The words “include”, “includes” and “including” denote that the subsequent list is not exhaustive.

Definitions

  1. For the purposes of this Order, the terms below will have the following meanings:

    “Applicant” means a Person who applies under the ROLAP;

    “Crown” means Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Ontario;

    “Guidelines” means a written document setting out the criteria governing the operation of the Program and posted on the Ministry’s website;

    “Ministry” means the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and includes a successor entity;

    “Nominator” means a Person who nominates another Person for a Rural Ontario Leaders Award under the ROLAP;

    “Order” means this Minister’s Order, Minister’s Order Number 003/2017, as it may be amended from time to time;

    “Overpayment” means any Payment to which the Recipient is not entitled to receive at the time of the Payment or to which the Recipient ceases to be entitled to receive at any time after the Payment was made;

    “Payment” means the provision of funds under this Program;

    “Person” means a legally recognized entity;

    “Programs” means:

    1. The ROLAP; and

    2. The ROSP.

    “Program Administrator” means:

    1. The Director, Regional Economic Development Branch and includes any Acting Director, Regional Economic Development Branch as well as any successor or equivalent position with the responsibility for administering the ROLAP; and

    2. The Director, Rural Policy Branch and includes any Acting Director, Rural Policy Branch as well as any successor or equivalent position with the responsibility for administering the ROSP.

    ROLAPmeans the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Program;

    ROSPmeans the Rural Ontario Summit Program; and

    “Rural Ontario” means municipalities with a population of less than 100,000 people or a population density of less than 100 people/km2.

Purpose of Programs

  1. The purpose of the Programs is to recognize Rural Ontario by:
    1. Establishing an awards program that specifically recognizes and promotes activities and practices that contribute to rural economic development in Rural Ontario; and
    2. Creating a forum that allows the Ministry to identify and understand the concerns of Rural Ontario.

Part 2 – Term of the Programs

Commencement of Programs

  1. The Programs will commence on September 1, 2017.

Termination of Programs

  1. The ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, will automatically terminate in the event there is an insufficient appropriation for any Payment that is to be made. Where the Programs are terminated pursuant to this section 5 of this Order, the following rules will apply:
    1. The Program Administrator will post a notice on the Ministry’s website where a copy of this Order is posted indicating that the ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, has been terminated and the date that the ROLAP or the ROSP was terminated. The ROLAP or the ROSP will be considered terminated as of that date; and
    2. Any Payments under ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, for which there is no appropriation will not be paid.
  2. The ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, may be terminated through the issuance of a Minister’s Order terminating the ROLAP or the ROSP. Where a Minister’s Order is issued terminating the ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, the following rules will apply unless the Minister’s Order terminating the ROLAP or the ROSP provides otherwise:
    1. The Program Administrator will post a notice on the Ministry’s website where a copy of this Order is posted, along with a copy of the Minister’s Order terminating the ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, indicating that the ROLAP or the ROSP has been terminated and the date that ROLAP or the ROSP was terminated; and
    2. Any Payments owing under this ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, will be paid, unless the Minister’s Order terminating the ROLAP or the ROSP provides otherwise.

Part 3 – Funding for the Programs

  1. Funding for the Programs will be from the monies allocated to the Ministry by the Legislature. The Program Administrator may provide to any Person any funding that is contemplated or permitted under the Program. The Program Administrator may pay for any administrative costs that the Program Administrator determines are reasonable or prudent for the administration of the Programs.
  2. Funding allocated to the Programs will only be used for the Programs and the costs of administering the Programs.

Part 4 – Administration of the Programs

  1. (1) The Program Administrator for the ROLAP will be responsible for the administration and delivery of the ROLAP. This includes:
    1. Establishing standards and procedures for the delivery of all aspects of the ROLAP;
    2. Monitoring the performance of all aspects of the ROLAP;
    3. Establishing in the Guidelines:
      1. Administrative deadlines,
      2. Application forms;
      3. Evaluation criteria of Applicants,
      4. Evaluation process for Applicants,
      5. Record-keeping requirements, and
      6. Reporting requirements.
    4. Making decisions pursuant to sections 19(f), 20(f), 21(e), 22(e), 23(e), 43(1), 43(2) and 44 of this Order;
    5. Approving anything that needs to be approved for the ROLAP; and
    6. Carrying out all other administrative functions required for the successful operation of the ROLAP.

    (2) The Program Administrator for the ROSP will be responsible for the administration and delivery of the ROSP. This includes:

    1. Establishing standards and procedures for the delivery of all aspects of the ROSP;
    2. Monitoring the performance of all aspects of the ROSP;
    3. Anything that needs to be approved for the ROSP; and
    4. Carrying out all other administrative functions required for the successful operation of the ROSP.
  2. (1) The Program Administrators may create Guidelines for the Programs, provided those Guidelines do not conflict with anything contained in this Order. For the purposes of determining whether the Guidelines conflict with this Order, a conflict will be found if the Guidelines provide for something that is prohibited under this Order or if the Guidelines provide that something is not needed which is required under this Order.

    (2) Where the Program Administrator for the ROLAP creates Guidelines, those Guidelines will be posted on the Ministry’s website where this Order is posted.

    (3) The Program Administrator may amend the Guidelines. Where the Program Administrator amends the Guidelines, the following will apply:
    1. A summary of the changes to the Guidelines will be posted on the Ministry’s website where the Guidelines and this Order are posted;
    2. The updated Guidelines will be posted on the Ministry’s website; and
    3. Any changes to the Guidelines will be effective as of the date set out in the Guidelines. In no case will any changes to the Guidelines have a retroactive effect.
  3. The Program Administrators have all necessary authority to administer the Programs.

Third-Party Delivery Agent

  1. (1) If the Program Administrator enters into an agreement with a third-party to deliver all or a part of the Programs, that agreement will include, at a minimum, the following:
    1. The roles and responsibilities for the Program Administrator and the third-party;
    2. The money that the third-party will receive for delivering a part or all of the Programs;
    3. Performance measures, if applicable and appropriate;
    4. Reporting and audit requirements; and
    5. Provisions for corrective action to address any events of default by the third-party.

    (2) When delivering all or a part of the Programs, the third-party will do so in compliance with all Requirements Of Law.

Part 5 – The Programs

Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

Establishment of Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

  1. The ROLAP is hereby established.
  2. (1) The ROLAP will consist of five streams, with one award for each stream of the ROLAP.

    (2) The five streams for the ROLAP are:
    1. Individual Stream;
    2. Youth Individual Stream;
    3. Community Stream;
    4. Business Stream; and
    5. Not-For-Profit/Non-Governmental Organization Stream.
  3. (1) A Rural Ontario Leaders Awards will be awarded for each stream of the ROLAP on a bi-annual basis.

    (2) Despite section 17(1) of this Order, awards for one or more streams of the ROLAP do not have to be presented on a bi-annual basis where:
    1. The Ministry did not receive any applications under a particular stream for the awarded year; or
    2. The applications that the Ministry received under a particular stream for the awarded year did not merit the awarding of a Rural Ontario Leaders Award under the ROLAP for that stream;
    3. The Minister directs the Program Administrator not to host the ROLAP; or
    4. The Minister directs the Program Administrator to host the ROLAP according to a different delivery schedule.
  4. Rural Ontario Leaders Awards under the ROLAP will be a recognition-only award.

Eligibility Requirements for the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

  1. To be eligible under the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Individual Stream of the ROLAP, an applicant will meet the following requirements:
    1. Be an individual;
    2. Be 25 years or older in age as of the date the application or nomination form was submitted;
    3. Either:
      1. Apply to the ROLAP using a Program Administrator-approved application form, or
      2. Be nominated by another Person using a Program Administrator-approved application form;
    4. Submit a completed application form by the deadline set out in the Guidelines;
    5. Agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the ROLAP, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines; and
    6. Be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law at the time that the Applicant’s application is submitted and remain in compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the ROLAP.
  2. To be eligible under the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Youth Individual Stream of the ROLAP, an applicant will meet the following requirements:
    1. Be an individual;
    2. Be under 25 years of age as of the date the application or nomination form was submitted;
    3. Either:
      1. Apply to the ROLAP using a Program Administrator-approved application form, or
      2. Be nominated by another Person using a Program Administrator-approved application form;
    4. Submit a completed application form by the deadline set out in the Guidelines;
    5. Agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the ROLAP, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines; and
    6. Be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law at the time that the Applicant’s application is submitted and remain in compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the ROLAP.
  3. To be eligible under the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Community Stream of the ROLAP, an applicant will meet the following requirements:
    1. Be:
      1. A municipality within the meaning of the Municipal Act, 2001,
      2. A band within the meaning of the Indian Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. I-5;
    2. Either:
      1. Apply to the ROLAP using a Program Administrator-approved application form, or
      2. Be nominated by another Person using a Program Administrator-approved application form;
    3. Submit a completed application form by the deadline set out in the Guidelines;
    4. Agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the ROLAP, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines; and
    5. Be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law at the time that the Applicant’s application is submitted and remain in compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the ROLAP.
  4. To be eligible under the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Business Stream of the ROLAP, an applicant will meet the following requirements:
    1. Be:
      1. A sole proprietorship,
      2. A corporation duly incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada or the laws of Ontario,
      3. A partnership, or
      4. An unincorporated association;
    2. Either:
      1. Apply to the ROLAP using a Program Administrator-approved application form, or
      2. Be nominated by another Person using a Program Administrator-approved application form;
    3. Submit a completed application form by the deadline set out in the Guidelines;
    4. Agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the ROLAP, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines; and
    5. Be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law at the time that the Applicant’s application is submitted and remain in compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the ROLAP.
  5. To be eligible under the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Not-For-Profit/Non-Governmental Organization Stream of the ROLAP, an applicant will meet the following requirements:
    1. Be:
      1. An individual,
      2. A sole proprietorship,
      3. A corporation duly incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada or the laws of Ontario,
      4. A partnership, or
      5. An unincorporated association that does not operate on a for-profit basis;
    2. Either:
      1. Apply to the ROLAP using a Program Administrator-approved application form, or
      2. Be nominated by another Person using a Program Administrator-approved application form;
    3. Submit a completed application form by the deadline set out in the Guidelines;
    4. Agree to comply with the terms and conditions of the ROLAP, as set out in this Order and the Guidelines; and
    5. Be in compliance with all Requirements Of Law at the time that the Applicant’s application is submitted and remain in compliance with all Requirements Of Law while participating in the ROLAP.

Evaluation of Applications under the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

  1. Applications to the ROLAP will be evaluated in two phases.
  2. (1) The first phase of the evaluation process will be conducted by:
    1. A panel consisting of up to ten (10) subject-matter experts employed within the Ministry and chosen by the Program Administrator; or
    2. A panel consisting of up to ten (10) subject-matter experts that are not employed within the Ministry and chosen by the Program Administrator; or
    3. A panel consisting of up to ten (10) subject-matter experts that may or may not be employed within the Ministry and chosen by the Program Administrator.

    (2) The criteria in which applications for each stream of the ROLAP will be evaluated under the first phase will be set out in the Guidelines.

    (3) The process of evaluation, including how applicants will proceed to the second phase of the evaluation procedure, will be set out in the Guidelines.

  3. (1) The second phase of the evaluation process will be conducted by a panel consisting of up to seven (7) employees within the Ministry that occupy the position of “Director” or higher and chosen by the Program Administrator. The Program Administrator may, at his or her discretion, select panel members from other Ministries.

    (2) The criteria in which applications for each stream of the ROLAP will be evaluated under the second phase will be set out in the Guidelines.

    (3) The process of evaluation, including how applicants will be recommended to the Minister for the Minister’s consideration for final selection, will be set out in the Guidelines.

    (4) The second phase panel will only make non-binding recommendations to the Minister as to who should receive a ROLAP for each stream.
  4. The Minister will select the winner for each stream of the ROLAP.

Presentation of Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

  1. The winners for each Rural Ontario Leaders Award stream of the ROLAP will receive their award at a place and time determined by the Program Administrator.

Audit of Applicants and Nominators to the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

  1. Applicants to or Nominators for the ROLAP consent to any audits that may be conducted in relation to the ROLAP to verify any information the Applicant or the Nominator has provided.
  2. Applicants to or Nominators for the ROLAP will provide reasonable assistance to any auditor conducting an audit under the ROLAP. This includes allowing access to any person, place or thing required for auditing purposes.
  3. Applicants to or Nominators for the ROLAP authorize the Program Administrator or third-party delivering the ROLAP, including their respective delegates, to obtain information from any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying any information the Applicant or the Nominator has provided.
  4. Applicants to or Nominators for the ROLAP consent to the Program Administrator or third-party delivering the ROLAP, including their respective delegates, to release information that they may have collected to any government department/ministry, agency or third party for the purposes of verifying any information the Applicant or Nominator has provided.
  5. A Person who fails to cooperate in any audit undertaken in relation to the ROLAP will:
    1. Either, depending on the context:
      1. Be ineligible to continue on in the evaluation process, or
      2. Have the nomination be ineligible to continue on in the evaluation process; or
    2. Have that Person’s Rural Ontario Leaders Award withdrawn if the audit is taking place after the Rural Ontario Leaders Award has been awarded.
  6. Applications to the ROLAP will contain a notice about the audit rights set out under this part of the Order and require the Applicant to indicate that the Applicant consents to having an audit conducted, if required.

Consent to Collection and Disclosure of Personal Information

  1. Applicants to and Nominators for the ROLAP consent to the collection of personal information in relation to the administration of the ROLAP.
  2. Applicants to Nominators for the ROLAP consent to the disclosure of any personal information collected in relation to the administration of the ROLAP, including the publication of that personal information for the purposes of providing information about the ROLAP.
  3. Applications to and nomination forms for the ROLAP will contain a notice of collection of personal information and require the Applicant or the Nominator to indicate that the Applicant or the Nominator consents to the collection of personal information and the disclosure of that personal information for the purposes of publishing information about the ROLAP.

Rural Ontario Summit

Establishment of Rural Ontario Summit

  1. The ROSP is hereby established.

Agenda for Rural Ontario Summit

  1. The Program Administrator for the ROSP will decide the agenda for the Rural Ontario Summit.

Hosting of a Rural Ontario Summit

  1. (1) The Program Administrator for the ROSP will hold or cause to be held a Rural Ontario Summit at least once every five (5) calendar years.

    (2) Despite section 40(1) of this Order, the Program Administrator for the ROSP may hold additional Rural Ontario Summits within a calendar year if the Program Administrator for the ROSP is of the opinion that it would be in the best interests of those living in Rural Ontario to have an additional Rural Ontario Summit.

    (3) Despite section 40(1) of this Order, the Program Administrator for the ROSP may decide not to hold a Rural Ontario Summit once within a five (5) calendar year period if the Program Administrator for the ROSP is of the opinion that the Rural Ontario Summit is not required or manageable within the established time frame.
  2. The Rural Ontario Summit will be held in a location within Ontario as identified by the Program Administrator.
  3. (1) The Program Administrator for the ROSP will provide or cause to be provided notice to the general public about the Rural Ontario Summit at least 30 Business Days prior to the date in which the Rural Ontario Summit will be held.

    (2) The notice required under section 42(1) of this Order will include, at a minimum:
    1. The time and location of the Rural Ontario Summit; and
    2. The draft agenda for the Rural Ontario Summit.

Part 6 – General

Submission of False or Misleading Information under the Rural Ontario Leaders Award Program

  1. (1) A Person that provides false or misleading information or is found to have acted in a negligent manner in regards of allowing false or misleading information to be submitted on the Person’s behalf under the ROLAP will not be eligible to apply or nominate another Person again under this Program.

    (2) Any Person that receives a Rural Ontario Leaders Award under the ROLAP as a result of providing false or misleading information or has been found to have acted in a negligent manner in regards of allowing false or misleading information to be submitted will have that Rural Ontario Leaders Award withdrawn. The Rural Ontario Leaders Award will be awarded to the next-placed Person.

Withdrawal of Rural Ontario Leaders Awards

  1. Any Person that has received a Rural Ontario Leaders Award may have that Rural Ontario Leaders Award withdrawn if that Person acts in a manner that brings disrepute to that Rural Ontario Leaders Award.

Repayment of Money Owing Under the Programs

  1. Any Person who receives a Payment under either the ROLAP or the ROSP that that Person was not eligible to receive will repay that outstanding amount.
  2. The termination of the ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, will not, in any way, affect the obligation of a Person that received a Payment that that Person was not eligible to receive to repay that outstanding amount.
  3. Any Payment a Person may be eligible to receive under the ROLAP or the ROSP, as the case may be, may be set off against any existing debt that that Person owes to the Crown.

Original signed by
The Honourable Jeff Leal
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Executed on this 31 day of August, 2017.

Updated: September 01, 2021
Published: November 08, 2017