A thriving agricultural sector is dependent upon a knowledgeable and supportive municipal sector. As the nature of municipal government and agriculture evolves, municipalities need to ensure that they have the capacity (staff, time, expertise) to respond to new and emerging agricultural issues (including climate change, new farming practices, agritourism, etc.). It is equally important that municipal elected officials understand the needs of agriculture and are well positioned to make timely, relevant decisions in support of the agri-food sector and the economy of rural Ontario.
OMAFRA’s Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Prime Agricultural Areas provide guidance to support implementation of the Provincial Policy Statement (2014) with regards to agricultural, agriculture-related and on farm diversified uses. This research will assess the effectiveness of these guidelines including measures of their performance in terms of supporting farmland protection, assessing if the policy/guideline have increased the numbers of new businesses, and benefits and costs for farmers and municipalities. The research will also identify/evaluate best practices for land use planners to achieve policy objectives for agriculture-related and on farm diversified uses.
This project seeks to evaluate the current state of Ontario’s farmland in terms of land availability and policies regarding farmland preservation. The goal of this study is to develop a methodology that can be replicated across communities throughout Ontario that will measure both the availability of farmland and amount lost.
2021 | ASSESSING THE CAPACITY OF MUNICIPALITIES TO RESPOND TO EVOLVING RURAL AND AGRICULTURAL ISSUES
A thriving agricultural sector in Ontario is dependent upon a knowledgeable and supportive municipal sector. As the nature of municipal government and agriculture evolves, municipalities need to ensure that they have the capacity (staff, time, expertise) to respond to new and emerging agricultural issues (including climate change, cannabis production, agritourism, etc.).
A learning series for municipal councillors and practitioners
After determining how a number of rural communities are planning successfully for economic development, this project will now put this information into the hands of key stakeholders as a way to build local planning and development capacity. It also has the potential to impact municipal policy decisions, particularly in terms of the process of community economic development.
workshops for public sector professionals
This proposed project will move the resources developed in the book into a practical learning context for public sector professionals. The main objective is to improve public consultation process through the adoption of innovative techniques that ensure meaningful dialogue and effective avenues for conflict resolution. The nature of the circle process lends itself particularly well to sensitive and potentially controversial issues.
using nature for community economic development and resilience
This research examines barriers/opportunities for using nature/natural systems as a mechanism for rural labour market development, and as a means to generate rural community resilience.
2020 | Regional Development
Planning for Resiliency In the 21st Century – A Methodology and Approach for Communities Dealing with Climate Change and Rising Oil Prices
Climate change and anticipated changes in oil pricing are likely to significantly impact rural Ontario. The research will provide practical strategies that will help ensure that rural Ontario is prepared to respond to the related issues of climate change and rising oil prices. Both of these issues stress the need for strategies of resilience and policy that reflect the diversity of rural Ontario.
2020 | Healthy Rural Communities
strategies and models of practice
This purpose of this project is to identify evidence-informed strategies and models of practice for land use planning policies, procedures and designs for the built environment to improve population health outcomes in rural communities. This project will result in the development and distribution of a toolkit to advise public health professionals, land use planners, municipal staff and elected officials of effective strategies and models of practice.
LOT CREATION IN ONTARIO’S AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE (2000-2010)
TRENDS, IMPACTS, POLICY IMPLICATIONS
This proposal will provide a province wide summary of the extent and nature of rural non-farm development across Southern Ontario for the period 2000-2010. The research will identify implications for agricultural production. The research will also contribute to the imminent review of the Provincial Policy Statement.
There are significant opportunities for the expansion of the agricultural sector in northern Ontario, particularly the Clay Belt region along the Highway 11 corridor. While land is available and evidence of success in agriculture exists, the challenges associated with farming within this region are not well understood. This project explores and understands the institutional and individual barriers to establishing livestock productions in the Clay Belt through through interviews and focus groups with farmers.
Planning for food security in the Commonwealth is a unique task that covers many subjects, faces many challenges, and has many inspiring opportunities for success. A number of perspectives on these challenges and opportunities are covered in this document. These topics are evolving and represent a snap-shot in time.
Many rural areas have declining populations and services making it difficult to attract and retain new arrivals. This study will look at rural areas that are successful in attracting new arrivals; outlining the policy and program offerings that focus on skill worker/entrepreneur immigration.
Rural regions are often limited in their capacity to conduct research. This proposed research will implement a methodology that engages community and organizational representatives in a systematic dialogue that will help to identify rural research needs from a community and organization perspective.
Amongst municipalities losing population, there are those who have developed an integrated and innovative community-based approach to planning and economic development. These “best” practices offers hope and solutions that can be transferred to other communities with limited potential for population growth. This research identifies innovative practices to help communities prosper even where there is a stable or declining population.
Best practices for rural communities
Rural Municipalities are trying to respond to many environmental issues such as water clarity, air quality and climate change. The success of their respond vows from municipality to municipality reflecting their resources, but also the approach that they adopt. This research identities best practice that can contribute to an effective response.
understanding the economic and social impacts of horse farms in the urban-rural fringe regions of ontario
Horse farms are one of the least understood forms of agriculture in Southern Ontario and yet from an economic development perspective, they bring a multitude of economic benefits and spin-offs that create employment, encourage investment and protect the rural landscape. This project is aimed at understanding the impact that horse farms may bring to the rural-urban fringe of urban centres in Southern Ontario.
a community based approach to solving water quality issues
Water Quality Issue along the Lake Huron shoreline have been the source of much controversy. This record takes a multi stakeholder approach to emerging residents in positive action towards a Coordinating response.
evolving provincial & municipal governance of nutrient management
This research relates to the changing nature of Provincial & Municipal Governance of Nutrient Management. It has two key objectives: the identification of on-going issues between the province and municipalities (including the monitoring of municipal acceptance or rejection of provincial authority) and the development of policy options and recommendations to improve the municipal/provincial relationship.
Increasingly there is a recognition that conflict resolution strategies offer the potential to resolve conflict related to agriculture. At its best it can offer workable solutions, enhance communication and foster understanding. Despite this potential, however there is an absence of materials to help develop and implement local strategies.
its impact on the viability and sustainability of agricultural and rural communities
Ontario’s agricultural industry is the most intensive and diversified in Canada. At the same time as agriculture has become increasingly intensified, however, there has been a significant increase in rural non-farm lots within the countryside. Unfortunately, an accurate count of new rural lots created since the early 1990’s does not exist.
community perceptions of environmental, economic and social impacts as an impediment to agricultural production
In many areas of Ontario livestock production has reached a crossroads. Community antagonism often translates into municipal by-laws which can be an impediment to agricultural production.
development of ontario’s wine industry
The purpose of this research is to understand the dynamics of the “on-farm” wine industry and to evaluate the appropriateness of related provincial, regional, and local planning policy. This policy is directly related to the future growth and development of the Niagara “on-farm” wine industry with numerous related rural economic development opportunities.