The Ontario government is making it an offence to stop, obstruct, hinder or otherwise interfere with a motor vehicle transporting farm animals. Today, the province proclaimed Section 6(1) and three other related sections of Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020.
“Stopping motor vehicles in traffic when they are transporting farm animals is dangerous for everyone, including those who stop the trucks, pedestrians, livestock transporters and other drivers,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “As actions like this are on the rise and public safety is a top priority for the Ontario government, it is critical to bring these specific parts of the act into force immediately to ensure safety for everyone.”
These select sections of the act will come into effect tomorrow. In a news release the ministry says, “(The new rules) will help keep truck drivers and members of the public safe from the risks posed from obstruction of vehicles or interference with livestock in transport.
The release says nearly 130 municipalities have passed or supported council resolutions calling on the government to strengthen protections for farm families, employees and animals. Adding; “the rights of people to participate in legal protests that take place in public spaces will always be protected, provided such protests do not have the potential to cause harm. Careful work was put into crafting this act to balance the rights of farmers and their farm operations as well as the rights for people to participate in lawful protests on public property.”