An Act to Recognize and Register Agricultural Producers and to Provide Stable Funding for
WHEREAS the NEW BRUNSWICK FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE, INC. - LA FEDERATION D'AGRICULTURE DU NOUVEAU-BRUNSWICK, INC. and la Fédération des Agriculteurs et Agricultrices Francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc. pray that it be enacted as hereinafter set forth;
AND WHEREAS it is desirable, in the interests of the public, to incorporate the Committee of Agricultural Federations of New Brunswick as a body corporate for the purpose of fostering and encouraging the agriculture industry in the Province, to establish and administer a system to recognize and register agricultural producers and enterprises, and to provide stable funding for New Brunswick agricultural federations;
THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
1This Act may be cited as the "Agricultural Producers Recognition and Stable Funding Act".
2(1)In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires
"Act" means the Agricultural Producers Recognition and Stable Funding Act;
"Appeal Panel" means the appeal panel established by section 14;
"Board" means the Board of the Committee constituted under section 4;
"Committee" means the Committee of Agricultural Federations of New Brunswick incorporated under section 3;
"costs" means all costs, expenses, honoraria and disbursements and all legal and other expenses of any kind incurred by the Committee, the Appeal Panel or the Registrar in relation to an investigation, proceeding, hearing or appeal under this Act;
"Member" means the NEW BRUNSWICK FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE INC. - LA FEDERATION D'AGRICULTURE DU NOUVEAU-BRUNSWICK, INC. and la Fédération des Agriculteurs et Agricultrices Franco-phones du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc.;
"Minister" means the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and includes any person designated by the Minister to act on the Minister's behalf;
"prescribed" means prescribed by bylaws or resolutions made by the Board under this Act;
"register" means the register kept under section 8;
"registered agricultural producer" means a person whose name is entered in the register established and maintained under this Act and the bylaws;
"Registrar" means the person or persons holding the office of Registrar under section 7;
"rosters" means the rosters kept under subsection 8(2).
2(2)The words "registered agricultural producer", "farmer", "registered farmer", "agricultural operation", "agricultural producer" or "agricultural enterprise" and the initials "RAP" and "R.A.P.", or any like words, initials or expressions used alone or in combination with other words or expressions when used in any provision of an Act of the Legislature or any regulation, rule, order or bylaws made under an Act of the Legislature enacted or made before, at or after the commencement of this Act or when used in any public document, shall be read as including a person whose name is entered in the register.
3For the purpose of administering and implementing this Act, the Committee of Agricultural Federations of New Brunswick is hereby incorporated as a body corporate and politic without share capital under the name Committee of Agricultural Federations of New Brunswick and, subject to this Act, has the capacity, rights, powers, and privileges of a natural person.
BOARD OF THE COMMITTEE
4(1)A Board of the Committee consisting of not less than 6 directors of whom one-half shall be appointed by the NEW BRUNSWICK FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE, INC. - LA FEDERATION D'AGRICULTURE DU NOUVEAU-BRUNSWICK, INC. and one-half shall be appointed by la Fédération des Agriculteurs et Agricultrices Francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc. shall be responsible for the administration of this Act and shall control, govern and manage, or supervise the control, government and management of the business and affairs of the Committee.
4(2)The number of directors, their respective terms of office, the manner of their appointment and their qualifications shall be established and governed by the bylaws of the Committee and such bylaws may provide for alternate directors, for the filling of vacancies and for the appointment or election of additional directors.
5(1)Unless this Act or the bylaws otherwise provide, the Board may by resolution make, amend or repeal any bylaws regulating the business or affairs of the Committee, and without restricting the generality of the foregoing
(a)governing and regulating
(i)the admission, suspension, removal, and reinstatement of additional Members; and
(ii)the registration and renewal, suspension, cancellation, revocation and reinstatement of registration of registered agricultural producers, including establishing limitations, or conditions on any registration issued under this Act;
(b)establishing one or more additional categories of membership and determining the rights, privileges and obligations of the Members of each category;
(c)determining, governing and regulating the setting and distribution of annual and other fees required to become registered as a registered agricultural producer, which shall include fees for membership in a Member and will provide for the refund of such membership fees if requested in accordance with the bylaws;
(d)providing for the election or appointment, removal and remuneration of and establishing the powers and duties of officers, officials, employees and agents of the Committee or Board;
(e)delegating to officers, officials, employees or committees any of the duties, powers and privileges of the Board or the Committee, except the power to make, amend or repeal bylaws;
(f)respecting annual, special and general meetings of the Committee, the Board and committees thereof, establishing the method of voting thereat, setting the fiscal year of the Committee and determining the place where the head office of the Committee and the places where other offices shall be located;
(g)developing, establishing, maintaining and administering criteria for the registration of registered agricultural producers;
(h)authorizing the making of co-operative, affiliation and other arrangements and agreements with any institution, person, corporation, council, organization, government, or professional body in any jurisdiction;
(i)advancing the interests of agricultural producers; and
(j)defining any terms used in this Act;
and subject to subsection (2) hereof, such bylaws shall be valid, binding and effective from the date of the Board's resolution enacting the bylaw, and where a bylaw is amended, it continues in effect in the form in which it is amended.
5(2)Bylaws relating to matters described in:
(a)paragraph (g) of subsection (1) shall not be effective or acted upon until approved by the Minister;
(b)paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (g) and (j) of subsection (1) shall not be effective or be acted upon until confirmed by an ordinary resolution passed by each of the boards of directors of the Members, and where a bylaw is amended by ordinary resolutions passed by each of the boards of directors of the Members, it becomes effective in the form in which it is amended.
5(3)The Board shall cause the text of any bylaw enacted by it to be sent to the Members within 10 days of the resolution of the Board enacting such bylaw.
5(4)No act or thing done in reliance on, or right acquired under or pursuant to, a bylaw that is subsequently repealed or amended shall be prejudicially affected by such repeal or amendment.
6The Regulations Act, chapter R-7.1 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, does not apply to the Committee or any bylaw, rule or resolution made by the Committee or the Board.
7The Board shall appoint one or more Registrars who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Board.
8(1)The Registrar shall keep or cause to be kept a register in which shall be entered the name and address of every person who has met the qualifications for registration as a registered agricultural producer under this Act and the bylaws and is thereby entitled to engage in the occupation of a registered agricultural producer in the Province.
8(2)The register may be divided into such parts known as rosters, as may be prescribed, in which shall be entered the names and addresses of persons qualified under the bylaws for such classifications, categories and levels of registration as may be prescribed.
8(3)The register shall be open for inspection by any person at the head office of the Committee at all reasonable times during regular business hours, free of charge, but any officer or employee of the Committee may refuse any person access to or the privilege of inspecting the said register if there is cause to believe that such person is seeking access or inspection primarily for commercial purposes or purposes unrelated to the carrying on of the occupation of a registered agricultural producer by a particular registered agricultural producer.
9Any person whose name is entered in the register, subject to any conditions, limitations or restrictions set out in the bylaws shall be entitled to engage in the occupation of a registered agricultural producer in the Province, to hold themselves out as a registered agricultural producer and to use the designations "RAP" or "R.A.P.", indicating that the person is a registered agricultural producer.
10(1)The Registrar shall remove or cause the removal of the name of any person from the register or any roster, who fails to meet or maintain the qualifications and standards for entry in the register or such roster.
10(2)The registration of a registered agricultural producer shall terminate and cease to have effect when his or her name is removed from the register.
11(1)The Registrar shall issue or cause to be issued annually or at such other times as may be determined by the Board a certificate of registration or a validation seal to be affixed to a previously issued certificate to persons whose names are entered in the register.
11(2)No person shall be entitled to have his or her name entered in the register or to receive a certificate or validation seal unless such person
(a)has satisfied the requirements for registration as may be prescribed, and
(b)has paid all applicable prescribed fees.
11(3)Any person whose registration has been subjected to conditions, limited, revoked or suspended shall without demand forthwith deliver his or her registration certificate and all validation seals to the Registrar.
12A statement certified under the hand of the Registrar respecting the records of the Committee or the registration of any person is admissible in evidence in any proceeding as prima facie proof of the facts set out in such certificate relating to the registration of any such person or lack thereof and any condition or limitation in respect of the registration of any such person.
13An applicant for registration who
(a)fulfils the requirements prescribed,
(b)pays the fees prescribed, and
(c)meets such other criteria as may be prescribed,
following consideration of the application by a Registrar shall be entitled to become registered as a registered agricultural producer and to have his or her name entered in the part of the register that the Registrar determines to be appropriate.
14(1)The Board shall maintain a standing committee known as the Appeal Panel, which in this Part is referred to as the "Panel".
14(2)The Panel shall be composed of registered agricultural producers and none of the Panel members shall be a director of the Committee.
14(3)The quorum, number of Panel members, their terms of office, qualifications and the manner of their appointment shall be established and governed by the bylaws and the bylaws may regulate the powers, procedures, functions and operations of the Panel.
14(4)The Board shall appoint one or more of the members of the Panel to be the Chairperson or Chairpersons of the Panel.
14(5)The Panel shall consider all appeals from decisions of the Registrar and perform such other duties as may be assigned to it by the Board, the Committee and the bylaws.
14(6)The Panel may engage such persons as it deems necessary including legal counsel to assist it in the consideration of appeals and shall determine its own rules of procedure.
14(7)Any party to an appeal shall be entitled to the following:
(a)representation by legal counsel, at the party's own expense;
(b)copies of all evidence and documents presented to the Panel concerning the appeal, other than privileged documents;
(c)at least fourteen days' notice of the first meeting of the Panel called to consider the appeal and the opportunity after such notice to submit to the Panel in writing any explanation, evidence, documents or representation the party may wish to make concerning the appeal; and
(d)prompt notice of and a copy of the decision rendered.
15The burden of proof in all proceedings before the Panel shall be the balance of probabilities.
16(1)If an applicant for registration is dissatisfied with a decision of a Registrar, such person may, by serving a written notice of appeal setting forth the grounds of appeal and the relief sought on the Registrar making the decision to be appealed, within 30 days of the date on which notice of the said decision is mailed to the last known address of such person, appeal the decision to the Panel provided that notwithstanding that an appeal may have been instituted the decision being appealed shall continue to be valid and binding and no stay of proceedings may be granted prior to the hearing of the appeal.
16(2)There shall be no appeal from any decision, order or finding of a Registrar or of the Committee, the Board or any committee, officer, employee, or agent thereof as the case may be, except appeals authorized or mentioned in subsection (1).
17On appeal the Panel may adjourn the proceedings or reserve the determination of the matters before it for a future meeting of the Panel.
18After reviewing the record and documents submitted on appeal and hearing the evidence or argument presented, the Panel may
(a)draw inferences of fact and make any finding, decision, determination or order that in its opinion ought to have been made,
(b)vary the decision appealed from,
(c)refer the matter to the Registrar who made the decision being appealed for further consideration and decision,
(d)confirm the decision appealed from, or
(e)make such decision or order as it may deem appropriate.
19The Panel may order that the costs of any investigation, proceeding, hearing or appeal under any provision of this Act be paid to any one or more of the Committee or the parties, in whole or in part by the appellant and may make it a condition of the registration of any person that such costs be paid forthwith.
20Except as provided in this Act or the bylaws, no person other than a person whose name is entered in the register shall
(a)publicly or privately, whether or not for hire, gain or hope of reward hold himself out in any way as being a registered agricultural producer, or
(b)assume or use any title, name, designation, initials or description, including "registered agricultural producer", "RAP" or "R.A.P.", and those referred to in this Act, that does or could lead the public to believe that person is a registered agricultural producer.
21A person who violates or fails to comply with section 20 of this Act commits an offence that is punishable under Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category C offence.
22The Board may institute and carry on or authorize any person to institute and carry on the prosecution of an offence under this Act provided that no prosecution by the Board or any other person for an offence under this Act shall be commenced after the expiration of one year from the date of the last act that is part of the alleged offence.
23Nothing in this Act applies to or prevents
(a)the business of farming by any person; and
(b)the carrying on of the occupation of an agrologist by persons duly authorized to carry on such occupation by The Agrologists Act.
24The Committee may act as trustee or custodian of any funds or property that may be committed for any purpose to the care or management of the Committee or the Members.
25The Committee, Board and any committee thereof may conduct meetings by telephone or other communication facilities in the manner and on the terms and conditions established by the bylaws and persons participating in a meeting by such means shall be deemed to be present in person at that meeting.
26A resolution, report, recommendation, decision, finding or order of the Committee, Members, Board or any committee thereof, in writing and signed by all directors, members or persons entitled to vote on such resolution, report, recommendation, decision, finding or order, or signed counterparts thereof, is as valid as if passed, enacted, determined or made at a meeting of the Committee, Board, Member, or such committee.
27None of the Committee Members, the Board and any committees thereof, or any member, official, officer or employee of any of the foregoing bodies shall be liable for any loss or damage of any kind suffered or incurred by any person as a result of anything done or not done, any proceedings taken, or any order made or enforced by it or them in good faith in the administration of or under this Act and the bylaws.
28Whenever notice is required or permitted to be made or given under the Act or the bylaws, any such notice shall be deemed to have been received seven days after the mailing by ordinary mail of any such notice to the last known address of the person to whom it is directed.
29Words importing the feminine gender shall include the masculine gender and vice-versa wherever the context of this Act so requires.