OFA provides comments to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 276, Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act as well as changes to the Planning Act. OFA has recommended that the Ontario government change the Land Registry system so that the practice of automatic merging is discontinued. The discovery that an automatic merger of titles under the Land Registry system has taken place on their lands has been a longstanding challenge for OFA member farms to navigate. Should the practice of this type of automatic merging continue, OFA believes that mandatory advanced notification should be given to the landowner, as well as the opportunity for the landowner to reconsider this transaction. Further, OFA requests that the local planning authority be granted the power to cancel automatic mergers in timely and efficient manner.
OFA reiterates opposition of Planning Act amendments that would enable the further subdivision of lots beyond what is already permitted. Maintaining large, contiguous tracts of agricultural land for agricultural uses must continue to be a core provincial priority. With respect to the other changes proposed, OFA requests that care be taken to ensure that these changes do not have unintended lot creation consequences that are inconsistent with Provincial land use policy direction and the protection of agricultural lands. OFA is willing to work with the government to help develop strategies by which economic recovery can occur and farmland be protected.