Livestock Financial Protection Board Business Plan for the Fiscal Years 2019-2022

Table of Contents

  1. Program Overview/Mandate
  2. Board Structure
  3. Overview of Current and Future Programs and Activities
  4. Strategic Directions
  5. Environmental Scan
  6. Resources Needed to Meet Goals and Objectives
  7. Financials: Proposed Operating Expenditures, Projected Revenues & Funding Requirements
  8. Financial Budget
  9. Risk Identification, Assessment and Management
  10. Human Resource/ Staff Numbers
  11. Initiatives Involving Third Parties
  12. Information Technology (IT)/Electronic Services Delivery (ESD) Plan
  13. Proposed Capital Expenditures
  14. Implementation Plan
  15. Performance Measures and Targets
  16. Communication Plan
  17. Appendix 1: Board Members and Terms

Executive Summary

The Livestock Financial Protection Board ("Board") is pleased to present its Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2019 - 2022. As a Board, we continue to focus on administering the Fund for Livestock Producers ("Fund"); adjudicating claims; granting or refusing the payment of all claims and recovering any money to which the Board is entitled. The following are the main areas of focus for the Board in the upcoming 2019/20 to 2021/22 planning horizon:

  • Protecting the long term viability of the Fund;
  • Strengthening Board governance and accountability;
  • Ensuring that there is an adjudication process in place that is simple, fair, and accessible, which minimizes delay; and
  • Facilitating the transfer of Program delivery from Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program Inc. (BCFPPI) to Agricorp.

As Fund administrator, our ultimate goal is to protect the long-term sustainability of the Fund. We are pleased that our investment strategies have helped the Fund weather ten years of unprecedented low interest rates with minimal negative impact upon our investment income. There is continued uncertainty in the financial markets. We continue to be in a low interest rate environment. Currently, it is projected that interest rates will begin to increase in the planning horizon of this plan. As the global economic situation continues to evolve, the Board will continue to assess the potential impact of different financial market scenarios and make adjustments to its investment strategy as required.

Under the Agencies and Appointments Directive (AAD), ministries are required to complete mandate reviews of their respective provincial agencies at least once every seven years. A agency mandate review of (the Grain Financial Protection Board and) the Livestock Financial Protection Board was completed in May 2015. Through a document review process, a series of interviews and jurisdictional scans, the agency mandate review found:

  • the mandate of the Board is still relevant to the Ontario government's current priorities;
  • the Board has programs and strategies in place to effectively achieve its mandate; and
  • the Board has appropriate accountability and risk management practices in place.

The final report recommended that the status quo be maintained (i.e. maintain a Board-governed agency that contracts with fund management and secretariat support providers) as this approach is the most effective at meeting the mandate of the Board. The final report went on to recommend that the ministry also give consideration to the future delivery of the services by a Delegated Administrative Authority (DAA) responsible for administering the funds, adjudicating claims and licensing dealers.

The Board's key achievements for the 2018/19

  • Timely adjudication of claims. The Board's goal is to continue to fulfill its mandate and contribute directly to its strategic outcome by rendering decisions in a timely manner. The Board received no claims.
  • Actuarially sound Fund balance. The Fund balance is $7.59M. This was $1.49M above the actuarially sound minimum balance of $6.1M.
  • Rate of return 3.45%. Despite the continued turmoil in the financial market, the Fund had an annual investment return of 3.45% last fiscal year. Once again, this was due mainly to the strategic investment decisions made by the Board which partially shielded the Fund from the impacts of events in the financial market. The Board's strategy provides the Fund with a no exposure to investments in risky assets such as equities and all investments in fixed income investments that must guarantee a face value return at redemption. This investment strategy has provided annual average investment returns of just above 3.64% since 2011/12.

Table 1 outlines total revenues and expenditures for the previous year as well as expectations for the planning horizons.

Total Revenues and Expenditures for the 2018/19: Q 2

The total revenue for the 2018/19 Q2 was $239,532. This included $109,280 in fees and $130,251 in interest income. Total expenses for the 2018/19 Q2 were $ 155,624. Revenue and expenses were in line with the budget. In the 2018/19, the Board budgeted $250,000 for claims, but actual net expenditures on claims were $0 to the end of Q2.

Revenue and Expenditures and Expectations for the Planning Horizon:

Total revenue for this planning horizon (2019/20 to 2021/22) is expected to remain relatively the same. Total expenses over the same period may increase by approximately 4.0% due to a new contract with a delivery agent.

For the 2018/19 fiscal year, the Board estimates revenues to be $518,000, including $228,000 in fees and $290,000 in interest income. The Board estimates expenditures of $471,170. This sum includes payment of $241,170 to determine financial responsibility of livestock dealers, fund administration, governance support, secretariat services and adjudication support, plus $230,000 in claims. In the 2019-2022 years, the projection is for a small increase in revenues as well as a small increase in expenses resulting in a small decrease in net revenues. Full details are further described in the budget which is a part of this report.

Program Overview/Mandate

The Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program (Program) was established in 1982 to provide compensation to sellers in the event that a buyer (including packing plant operators, abattoir operators, auction market operators, country dealers and cooperatives) defaults on a payment.

The Program has two components: the annual licensing of dealers under the Livestock and Livestock Products Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.20 (LLPA) and the administration of the compensation fund established under the Farm Products Payments Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.10, (FPPA). The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is responsible for the licensing of dealers, while the Board is primarily responsible for the administration of the Fund.

The Board is a body corporate without share capital constituted under the authority of the FPPA and Ontario Regulation 560/93 - Fund for Livestock Producers. It is also classified as a Board-Governed Provincial Agency (Trust) under the AAD. The Board operated in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister) and the Board, dated April 11, 2011. The AAD does not specify an expiry date for the MOU, however, upon a change to one of the parties the MOU must be affirmed by all parties within six months. The Ministry proposed new MOU was approved by the Board and signed by the Board Chair in December 20161 .

The Board's primary function is to administer funds and/or other assets for beneficiaries named under statute. The Board's mandate is, as set out in section 4 of the FPPA:

  • to administer the Fund;
  • to investigate all claims made under the FPPA and to determine the extent of their validity;
  • to grant or refuse the payment of claims or any part thereof and determine the amounts and manner of payment; and
  • to recover any monies to which it is entitled under the FPPA by suit in a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise.

Vision and Mission Statement:

The Board's vision is to protect the financial interests of licensed dealers and producers who have sold livestock to licensed dealers, as defined in the Program. The Board's vision supports the following OMAFRA priorities: (1) Providing stewardship of Ontario's capacity to produce food; and (2) Fostering economic development of the Agri-Food sector and rural Ontario.

The Board contributes to these priorities by ensuring that the Fund is effectively managed and able to meet its financial obligations to livestock sellers. The Fund is an important component of a seller's overall business risk management strategy it helps livestock sellers to manage risks beyond their control (i.e. default by a licensed dealer).

The Board's mission is to ensure the long term sustainability of the Fund by promoting sound investment practices and good governance for the benefit of Ontario's livestock sellers who sell to licensed dealers.

The Board's guiding principle is accountability in its management, administration and operation. As an agency of the government, the Board conducts itself according to the management principles of the government. These principles include ethical behavior; prudent, efficient and lawful use of public resources; fairness; high quality service to the public and openness and transparency to the extent allowed under law.

Accountability:

The Board operates at "arm's-length" from the Government but is accountable to the Minister in exercising its mandate. The Agency is accountable to the Minister, through the Chair, for its internal governance; setting its goals, objectives and strategic direction within its mandate; and for carrying out the roles and responsibilities assigned to it by the FPPA, all other applicable legislation, the MOU and applicable Treasury Board/Management Board of Cabinet directives, as well as Ministry of Finance directives. Specifically, the Board is held accountable through:

  • An annual report tabled in the Provincial Legislature.
  • An annual business plan with performance measures submitted annually to OMAFRA.
  • Annual audits of the Board's financial statements by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister.

Board Structure

The FPPA and O. Reg. 560/93 require that the Board be composed of not fewer than five members appointed by the Minister. There are currently five members on the Board, including the Chair and Vice Chair. One member has been submitted for reappointment, and one new candidate has been submitted to replace a retiring member. The Minister appoints a Chair and Vice Chair of the Board from among its members.

O. Reg. 560/93 requires that membership on the Board includes one member representing each of the Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO), the Canadian Meat Council (CMC), and the operators of community sales under the Livestock Community Sales Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.22. By convention, there has also been one member from the Ontario Livestock Dealers Association (OLDA), one member from the Ontario Independent Meat Processors (OIMP), one member from the dairy industry and one member from the veal industry. By convention, there has also been one additional member from the BFO.

See Appendix 1: List of Board Members & Terms

Overview of Current and Future Programs and Activities

The following is an overview of the Board's principal activities (current and future) linked to its mandate and the Government priorities. The Board's mandate is set out in legislation and as such the Board cannot conduct any activity that is inconsistent with its mandate.

Fund administration:

The Board is responsible for the overall governance of the Fund. The Fund is used to:

  • Provide compensation to qualified sellers in the event that certain buyers default on payment.
  • Offset the cost of determining financial responsibility of dealers as part of the licensing component of the Program.
  • Pay Board expenses (other than for the remuneration of those of its employees who are public servants employed under Part 111 of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006)2.
  • Pay for professional, technical or other assistance to or on behalf of the Board.

All money to which the Board is entitled is paid into the Fund. Contribution to the Fund is mandatory and is based on a fixed rate per head of livestock in a transaction. O. Reg. 321/11 - Fees Payable to Boards - was amended in December 2015. The amendment increased the fee payable to the Board from five to ten cents per head. The fee increase was effective February 1, 2016, and is payable to the Board as follows:

  1. In the case of a direct sale by a producer to a licensed dealer, the fee is payable by the producer.
  2. In the case of a private treaty sale, the fee is payable by the licensed dealer who sells the livestock.
  3. In the case of a sale by consignment, the consignor and the consignee each pay a separate fee.

Fees are due on or before the fifteenth day of each month along with a statement of the livestock sold, unless the total yearly sales are less than 1,000 head, in which case the fee is to be submitted semi-annually.

The Board is the administrator of the Fund and is ultimately responsible for its management and administration. In 1998, the Board delegated the day to day management of the Fund to Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program Inc. (BCFPPI) ? a not-for-profit corporation governed by its own Board of Directors. The Board of Directors of BCFPPI has representatives from the BFO, Ontario Livestock Dealers Association and Ontario Livestock Auction Markets Association. Key aspects of BCFPPI's role continue to be receiving and depositing fees; preparing monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements; preparing documentation for annual audits; preparing annual reports and annual business plans for Board approval, and investment of the Fund as outlined in the Board Investment policy.

In May 2018 the Board of Directors of Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program Inc. informed the Ministry that they would not be open to an extension of the contract with the Ministry for the delivery of the Livestock Financial Protection program. Report. Further they recommended that the program be delivered by Agricorp along with several other recommendations.

A key objective of the Livestock Financial Protection Board is to work collaboratively with Ministry and Agricorp staff to ensure a smooth transition and that key critical timelines are met to meet those objectives.

The Board's responsibility/activities as Fund administrator includes:

  • participation in the selection of the delivery agent for day to day administration of the Fund;
  • establishing or approving and reviewing all policies as required;
  • reviewing, at least annually, the policies and procedures in place for carrying out its responsibilities as administrator of the Fund;
  • on a periodic basis, as determined by the Board, obtain reasonable assurances from BCFPPI that the control systems in place are adhered to and that there is not any material non-compliance;
  • obtain reasonable assurances that the Fund is administered and invested in material compliance with the Investment Policy;
  • approving payments from the Fund;
  • reviewing, adopting and monitoring the strategic planning process (this includes meeting with BCFPPI to identify and discuss environmental factors and risks that can impact the Fund, and approving goals and objectives for the Fund);
  • reviewing and approving the annual audited financial statements of the Fund;
  • reviewing and approving the Board's operating budget;
  • on a periodic basis, obtaining and reviewing a report on the Fund investment performance;
  • ensuring policies and processes are in place for the identification of risks and reviewing and approving risk management strategies; and
  • ensuring that an actuarial review of the Fund is conducted as required.

Fund Investment Strategy:

The Board's main objective when managing investment capital is to remain a going concern, so that it can continue to deliver financial protection to livestock sellers in Ontario. Investment income is one important source of revenue for the Fund. As such, the Board's investment policy focuses on ensuring security, liquidity and maximization of investment income. The investment strategy flows from the Board Investment Policy. The Investment Policy specifies authorized investments and indicates which instruments can be utilized for investing.

Furthermore, the Investment Policy sets out short, medium and long term investment guidelines. Currently, 56.0% of the Fund is in long term investments and 44.0 is in short and medium term investments and a minimum amount in cash. When short or medium term investments mature, research is done on the variety of rates available from 30 day to 2 year term investments. If it appears that interest rates are generally rising then a shorter maturity date would be chosen to take advantage of potentially higher rates at maturity. If rates appear to be falling then a longer maturity would be selected.

A new investment policy has been developed by the Board in accordance with the MOU between the Minister and the Board; the revised investment policy has been approved by the Board and was submitted to OMAFRA as per the guidelines of the MOU.

The Fund's asset mix is made up of:

  1. Cash, short and medium term investments:
  • One of the Fund's short term investment is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) issued by a domestic financial institution that matures on February 19, 2019 and that earns 1.46% per annum. Another GIC matures February 18, 2020 and earns 2.30% per annum, and another GIC matures February 26, 2020 and earns 2.15 % per annum.
  • Cash and short term investments holdings at year end were $1,778,335 (24.93% ) of total investments (down slightly from 27.85 % the previous year).
  • The Fund's medium term investment consists of two GIC's in the amount of $ 1,750,000 issued by a domestic financial institution with a maturity dates of February 18 and Feb 26, 2020 that earn interest of 2.30 % and 2.15 % annually.

The Board staggers the maturity dates of GICs and uses a laddering strategy to reduce the influence of interest changes and maximize GIC returns.

  1. Long term investment:

The Fund's long term investment is in the form of a $4 million first mortgage on development lands in the City of Kitchener bearing interest at 5% payable semiannually. The $4 million investment is 56.0 % of the Fund's total investments.

The Board's strategic investment mix was instrumental in minimizing the impact of the economic downturn on its investment. The Board considers its investment in real estate to be a relatively safe investment that has generated great returns with little to no risk. Diversification among different assets, such as holding the mortgage, as well as short and medium term GICs, is the Board's key strategy to reduce risk. In the event of the sale or any other conveyance of all or part of the secured lands, the principal and accrued interest on the mortgage shall, at the Board's option, be immediately due and payable. In the unlikely event that a default on the mortgage occurs, as a secured, priority lender, the Board has first right on the property to recover the outstanding principal and interest costs, and any other costs incurred during the process.
Over the last nine years, the ability to invest in a high security first mortgage at 5% produced returns in excess of $88,000 more per year than any other options available on the market that the Board could invest in under its guidelines.

Claims Investigation and Adjudication:

The Board adjudicates claims made under the FPPA and determines the payment, if any, to be made from the Fund. A claim for compensation will be considered if it involves a producer selling to a licensed dealer, a licensed dealer selling to a producer or a licensed dealer selling to another licensed dealer.

A claim may be made if a seller hasn't been paid according to the timelines in the regulations. If an application for payment from the Fund is made in respect of a sale of livestock to a dealer, the application must be made to the Board not later than thirty (30) days after the day on which the earliest of the following events occurs:

  1. The dealer's payment becomes due.
  2. All or part of the dealer's assets is placed in the hands of a receiver or of a trustee for distribution under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada) or the Bulk Sales Act.
  3. The dealer ceases to carry on business.

For claims made in respect of a default by a producer, the claim must be made within 30 days of the date of sale. The adjudication process begins when the seller files a claim with the Board. Once the claim is received it is forwarded to OMAFRA's Regulatory Compliance Unit to complete the investigation process. When the investigation is complete, a report is made to the Board.

The Board conducts an in-depth analysis, which may involve OMAFRA Legal Services' advice, and either makes a final decision or offers an opportunity for the parties to make submissions or attend a hearing before making its final decision. If the Board offers an opportunity for a hearing, and a hearing is requested by one of the parties, a Notice of Hearing is mailed to the parties stating the time, date and location of the hearing. The Board works to adjudicate cases within 60 days of receiving the report from the investigators. Claims that involve a hearing require more time to resolve because additional meetings are required and, in some cases, the cases tend to be more complex.

In August 2017, the Board entered into a contract with a new Secretary to the Board who provides secretarial support in addition to adjudication support including drafting decisions of the Board as directed. Consequently BCFPPI will no longer be providing adjudication support.

The Board determines the payment, if any, to be made from the Fund.

  • If the Board decides that a claim from a producer made in respect of a dealer is valid, the Board pays 95 percent of the portion of the claim that it recognizes as valid.
  • Where an approved claim relates to a licensed dealer selling to a producer or feeder cattle finance co-operative who defaults on payment, compensation is 85 per cent of the portion of the claim that the Board recognizes as valid, up to a maximum of $125,000. In these cases, there is no compensation for claims of less than $5,000. Where an approved claim relates to a licensed dealer selling to another licensed dealer, the Board pays 95 percent of the portion of the claim that it recognizes as valid.

The Board has discretion to refuse payment from the Fund to dealers and producers based on grounds set out in sections 18 and 19 respectively of O. Reg. 560/93 - Fund for Livestock Producers. Examples of grounds for refusing payment include the claimant extending credit to the buyer; the Director under the LLPA not being notified promptly where payment was not received on time; and the claim not being submitted on time. The rules governing payment from the Fund are set out in section 21 of O. Reg. 560/93.

Recovery of Money Owed:

The regulation requires the Board to attempt to recover any money to which it is entitled. The Board, through legal counsel and the Administrator, works to recover money owed to the Board. In 2011, the Board approved and adopted a "Recovery Policy". The policy formalizes and documents current debt recovery practices. A debt recovery policy is a requirement under the MOU between the Minister and the Board. The objective of the policy is to ensure that money owed to the Board is collected as soon as possible using legal, efficient and effective debt recovery procedures. Recovery of debt owed to the Board is an important part of ensuring that the Fund remains viable.


1 Due to the change in government in 2018, the MOU will be reaffirmed with the new Minister and the Chair of the Board.

2 Legal services and investigative services support are currently provided and paid for by the ministry. The ministry also covers Board members' remuneration (per diem, meals and travel).

Strategic Directions

The following are the main areas of focus for the Board:

  • Protecting the long term viability of the Fund;
  • Strengthening Board governance and accountability;
  • Ensuring that there is an adjudication process in place that is simple, fair, and accessible, with minimal delays.
  • Facilitating the transfer of Program's delivery agent from BCFPPI to Agricorp.

The table below identifies the key strategies that will be used to achieve these goals.

Goal/Priorities Objectives Strategies
Protecting the long term viability/
sustainability of the Fund
To maintain a solvent Fund that will be able to pay eligible claims as they may come due while keeping check-off rates stable over the long term
  • Ensure check-off is collected and deposited into the Fund
  • Actuarially sound Fund
Identify, assess and manage the Fund's financial risks
  • Engage independent actuary to conduct an actuarial study as required
  • Fund audited annually by the Auditor General
  • Review/approve investment policy/strategy annually
  • Ensure payment from the Fund is compliant with the FPPA
Timely and efficient collection of debt owed
  • Tracking debt owed to the Board
  • Work with legal counsel to ensure that every reasonable attempt is made to collect debt owed to the Board as soon as is reasonably possible using procedures outlined in the debt recovery policy
Governance and Accountability Board compliance with government documents such as the AAD
  • All governance and accountability documents required under the MOU developed and in place
  • Reviews, discuss and approves compliance documents submitted to the Minister to ensure they or on time and meet the requirements of the directives
Improve Board members' and stakeholders' knowledge of the function of the Board and their roles and responsibilities
  • Enhancement of training and orientation program for Board members
  • Keep stakeholders informed of the Board's finances via an insert in the BFO's annual report
Maintain an adjudication process that is simple, fair, and accessible, which minimizes delays To conduct adjudicatory Board meetings and hearings and issue decisions in a timely, procedurally fair and legally supportable manner
  • Claims adjudication policy followed
  • Work with the OMAFRA to ensure that claims are investigated in a timely manner while taking human and financial resources into consideration
  • Adjudicate all cases in a timely manner while ensuring a fair process for all parties
  • Efficient and simple decision making process
  • Established timelines for adjudicating claims adhered to
Experienced individuals appointed to the Board
  • Board succession plans or procedures in place for succession planning
  • Members appointed as authorized in the regulatio
Facilitate transfer of the Program delivery from Beef Inc. to Agricorp. To ensure that costs remain reasonable and there is a smooth transition to Agricorp.
  • Work with Ministry and Agricorp staff in supplying information and data as required.
  • Set timelines and critical paths and assist in meeting them

Environmental Scan

The environmental scan seeks to provide a complete picture of the full environment in which the Board is operating and the key issues that may need to be addressed through the upcoming planning and budgeting cycles. The challenges and risks faced by the Board have remained similar from year to year over the last couple of years.

The Board is cognizant of its broader responsibilities in ensuring that key risks are identified and that effective processes are in place and implemented to manage these risks. The following are the main issues that emerged from the environmental scan:

External Drivers

Investment Risks: Investment income is one important source of revenue. Investing has inherent risks. Although long term return expectations and trends are generally predictable, there can be considerable volatility in short and medium term results. Currently, the Fund is invested in short, medium and long term fixed interest income type securities. Investment risk is a challenge that could adversely affect the achievements of one of the Board's goals, which is to ensure long term sustainability of the Fund. Appropriate mechanisms are therefore required for controlling investment risk. The Board's key mechanism for identifying and managing the investment risk is a very rigorous Board approved Investment Policy. Diversification among asset classes is a key strategy of this policy. Interest rates are at a historic low and are expected to begin to increase in this planning horizon, however the new MOU has expanded the options allowed for investments which will result in some further increase in returns for the planning horizon.

Packers Rationalization/Exit: There are a number of factors currently in play that could potentially lead to increased meat packer rationalization and exit from the market place. The primary factors affecting packers in Ontario is excess plant capacity. The volume of cattle available has dropped and plant capacity has decreased somewhat with the exit of several small packers from the industry over the last several years. Despite this, excess capacity is still a negative factor. If exit from the marketplace is due to insolvency, claims for payment from the Fund could potentially result. Because the Fund is actuarially sound, this will not likely impact the Board's ability to conduct business in the upcoming planning horizon.

Policy/Legislative Change by the Ontario Government: The Minister has responsibility for the legislation governing the Program. The Board is subject to the risk of a policy change by the government. In 1997, OMAFRA put forward two options to industry on the future of the Program: (1) a government-run program with full cost recovery paid for by industry and (2) the devolution of the program to industry. The various sectors within the industry agreed that devolution was their choice. A business plan was developed and approved by all sectors and a not-for-profit corporation (BCFPPI) was established with a Board of Directors from all sectors. To date, however, devolution has not occurred. The impact on the Board would be dependent on the changes made to the FPPA and its regulation which govern the operations of the Board.

In May 2018 BCFPPI informed the Government that they will not be extending their contract and would no longer be serving as the program delivery agent and recommended that the delivery agent be Agricorp.

Fund Balance and Unpredictability of Claims: The Fund dropping below the actuarially sound level or becoming depleted because of an usually large claim(s) is another external driver identified by the Board. This risk could negatively impact the Board's ability to deliver financial protection to livestock sellers in Ontario making timely claims against the Fund.

An on-going challenge for the Board is the unpredictability of claims, i.e. the number of claims to the Board from year to year is difficult to predict and can fluctuate greatly. Because claims paid are variable, any estimate of future claims in the upcoming 2019/2020 to 2021/2022 planning horizon can be unreliable.

Livestock Values: Canadian cattle prices were at record highs due to lower cattle inventories; however they have dropped significantly and are currently at a more stable level. These lower values have reduced risk to the Fund considerably. However, these reduced values have had a negative impact on the feedlot sector generating significant losses; to the extent that some of this sector is also licensed dealers could have a negative impact on the Fund.

Internal Drivers

Institutional continuity and succession planning: Improvements have been brought to succession planning and creating continuity on the Board. Experienced members increase its ability to issue decisions in a timely and fair manner. Too few or inexperienced members could negatively impact the Board's ability to adjudicate claims fairly and efficiently. To minimize the loss of experienced Board members, the Board has asked that appointments be staggered. Also, a Vice Chair is now in place which improves the Board's function and continuity.

Governance and Accountability Requirements: There is an increasing focus on strategic planning as it relates to Board governance and accountability. Good governance is an integral component of effective Fund management and Board performance. Expectations concerning accountability and the fiduciary duties of boards, if any, continue to evolve.

Resources Needed to Meet Goals and Objectives

A new three year contract with an option for two one year renewals was entered into with BCFPPI beginning January 1, 2016. The total Board cost for the new contract in Year 1 (Jan - Dec 2016) and Year 2 (Jan - Dec 2017) is $195,840. Of this total, determining financial responsibility costs are $163,200 and $32,640 is for Fund and Board administration. For Year 3 (Jan - Dec 2018), determining financial responsibility is approximately $168,000 and approximately $33,000 is for Fund and Board administration. As stated earlier in the report this contract will end on December 31, 2018.

OMAFRA funds legal and investigative services. Investigative services are provided by the Regulatory Compliance Unit within OMAFRA. The Board also receives legal services provided by the Ministry of the Attorney General and, on occasion, uses outside legal assistance as retained and directed by the Ministry of the Attorney General.

The affairs of the Board are subject to an annual audit by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario.

Financials: Proposed Operating Expenditures, Projected Revenues & Funding Requirements

The following are the three sources of income into the Fund:

  • Check-off fees.
  • Income from investments
  • Monies recovered after payment of claims

The FPPA provides that the Board is responsible for all its expenses except for those of persons employed under Part III of the Public Service of Ontario Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 35. In addition to claims and its secretarial and adjudication support, the Board uses the Fund to offset costs associated with determining financial responsibility and administrative support.

Since 1982, investment income has been greater than total costs and claims, resulting in zero use of check-off fees. To date, all net claims and Board expenses have been paid from interest earned on the Fund.

The Board's operating expenses are based on the number of meetings and will vary from year to year. Because claims paid are variable, budgeted estimates on claims can be unreliable. Meetings are held at least annually or when there is a claim on the Fund. Other Board business can usually be handled by a conference call. As of April 2010, OMAFRA, with Cabinet approval, began remunerating members of the Board, as permitted under the FPPA.

The Fund is actuarially sound. An actuarial study was completed by Ernst & Young in September 2015. A best practice requires a study every five years. There was an additional impetus for a study because the industry requested a fee increase and the Ministry required an actuarial study before approving the request. Several conclusions were indicated in the report:

  1. The Fund has a strong financial position given its claims experience and current Fund balance.
  2. A Fund balance of approximately $6.1M would cover net claims with 95% confidence if the largest livestock sale or exposure by any one player was limited to $5.0M. As of September 30, 2018, the Fund had a balance of $7.675M.
  3. With the assumptions listed in the report under the base scenario as described in the report, the Fund balance would still be positive, ending at $6.1M on 31 March 2020. Under this scenario, the increase in fees effective February 1, 2016 would be sufficient.

The contingency plan, if there are claims that would exceed the Board's ability to pay, would be to work with the OMAFRA to determine the best strategy. Some possible options are:

  1. Seek the assistance of the Minister to obtain a loan. The authority for this is found under:
    • Section 5 (3) (b) of the FPPA (allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council to authorize the Minister of Finance to make interest free loans from the Consolidated Revenue Fund to the Board in an amount that does not exceed $250,000 in the aggregate); and
    • Sections 15 (2), (3) and (4) of the LLPA (collectively operate to allow the Board to borrow such sums as are necessary to make payments on claims from a bank listed in Schedule I or II to the Bank Act (Canada) loan corporation, trust corporation, caisse populaire, credit union or other person, as well as to authorize the Lieutenant Governor in Council to guarantee the payment of loans upon such terms as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers proper, together with interest, to a maximum of $1,000,000).
  2. The Actuarial study recommended that the Board arrange a standby line of credit with a chartered bank to use in the event that there are claims that exceed the Board's ability to pay. The Board has investigated this option and has had quotes from several banks. The quotes received to date are too expensive and it appears that this is not a viable option at this time.

Financial Budget

Fund for Livestock Producers Pro Forma Balance Sheet

As at March 31, 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022

 
2019
2020
2021
2022
Assets
-
-
-
-
Current
-
-
-
-

Cash

$468,316
$545,228
$430,569
$380,793

Accounts Receivable

$107,195
$114,217
$ 97,810
$110,586

Short-term investments

$2,600,0000
$2,600,000
$2,800,000
$2,900,000
Sub-total
$3,175,511
$3,259,445
$3,328,379
$3,391,379
Long Term

Long-term investments

$4,500,000
$ 4,500,000
$4,500,000
$4,500,000
Total Assets
$7,675,511
$7,759,445
$7,828,379
$7,891,379
Liabilities
-
-
-
-

Accounts Payable

0
-
-
-
Equity
$7,675,511
$7,759,445
$7,828,379
$7,891,379

 

The table below shows the budget, actual revenue and expenditures and the variances for 2017/18 fiscal year and to the end of the 2018-19 Q23 .

 
Budget
Actual
Variance
Budget Q2
Actual Q2
Variance
Budget
Budget
Budget
2017-18
2017-18
-
2018-19
2018-19
-
2019-20
2020-21
2021-22
Opening Assets
-
7,349,117
-
7,591,604
-
7,675,511
7,759,445
7,828,379
Revenue:
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Fees
228,000
199,631
-28,369
114,000
109,280
-4,720
228,000
228,000
228,000
Interest
260,000
246,024
-13,976
145,000
130,251
-14,749
290,000
290,000
300,000
Recoveries
40,000
0
-40,000
20,000
0
-20,000
40,000
40,000
30,000
Total Revenue
528,000
445,655
-82,345
279,000
239,532
-39,469
558,000
558,000
558,000
Expenses:
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Licencing & Administration
241,171
203,168
38,003
120,585
155,624
-35,039
244,066
259,066
265,000
Claims Paid
250,000
0
250,000
115,000
0
115,000
230,000
230,000
230,000
Total Expenses
491,171
203,168
288,003
235,585
155,624
79,961
474,066
489,066
495,000
Excess of Revenue over Expenses
36,829
242,487
-
-
83,907
-
83,934
68,934
63,000
Closing Balance of Assets
-
7,591,604
-
-
7,675,511
-
7,759,445
7,828,379
7,891,379

Financial Assumptions:

  • Interest Rate 2018/19 - 3.90 %
  • Interest Rate 2019/20 - 4.00 %
  • Interest Rate 2020/21 - 4.00%
  • Interest Rate 2021/22 - 4.00 %
  • Claims based on a 10 Yr. Average

An on-going challenge for the Board is the unpredictability of claims ( i.e. the number of claims to the Board from year to year is difficult to predict and can fluctuate greatly). Because claims paid are variable , any estimate of future claims can be unreliable. Prior to the 2013/14 fiscal year, the Board did not include a budget for claims paid. This amount is an estimate for budgeting purposes only. Actual payments on claims may be higher or lower than the budgeted amount.

3 Revenue, expenditures and expectations for the planning horizon included in this report were determined prior to the transfer to the new delivery agent and are subject to change pending transition completion.

Risk Identification, Assessment and Management

The Government of Ontario uses a risk-based approach to manage provincial agencies. Consequently, provincial agencies are required to employ a risk framework when making operational decisions. Provincial agencies are responsible for ensuring that funds are spent effectively and efficiently, and are used for the intended purpose. Risk management helps the Board identify risks, assess exposures, and develop appropriate action plans to help ensure provincial agencies meet business objectives. A risk management plan was developed by the Board in 2010 and is updated as part of the Board's strategic planning process.

Agencies are expected to report on the status of the evaluation of their risks on a quarterly basis, except for high risks, which must be reported immediately. This reporting requirement requires the Board to review the risk management plan and identify quarterly whether or not there are changes.

Risk Category Risk Name Risk Level Assessment (low, medium, high) Risk Action Plan (mitigation strategy)
Operational Investment Risk(s): Low The Board uses the following basic procedures to address and manage investment risk: 1) Actuarial review: Reviews periodically performed by an actuary; and 2) Asset allocation and diversification among asset classes to provide the best opportunity for producing sufficient returns to meet the expected liabilities.
Operational Packers Rationalization/Exit Medium Continue with the current investment policy which balances return, security and liquidity.
Actuarial study to ensure that the Fund is adequate for the current conditions in the industry.
Strategic Policy/Legislative Change by the Ontario Government Low Accept - This is outside of the Board's control. The government is responsible for the legislation that establishes the Board.
Operational Fund Balance and Unpredictability of Claims Low Accept/Reduce - An actuarial review was completed in 2015. The review determined that the Fund was actuarially sound. Effective July 1, 2011, the Minister instead of the Lieutenant Governor in Council was given authority to set the check-off fee. This has doubled the fee revenue annually and is assisting in increasing the fund balance. This change will also make it easier to implement future changes to the check-off if necessary to rebuild the Fund.
Operational High Livestock Value Medium Livestock values have moderated so the risk has decreased. Actuarial study once every five years to ensure fund is actuarially sound.

Accountability/

Governance

Increasing governance and accountability requirements Low New member orientation sessions to ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly understood is ongoing. Ensure that Board members fully understand their roles and responsibilities.

Accountability/

Governance

Institutional continuity and succession planning Low The Board works with external partners and OMAFRA to ensure that new candidates for the Board are brought forward for approval well in advance of Board retirements.

Operational

Board unable to meet quorum High Continue to work with Ministry staff to get appointment made.

Human Resource/ Staff Numbers

The Board has no staff. However, the Board has entered into third party agreements with OBCFPP Inc. for the provision of administrative/secretariat, Fund management and adjudication support. This agreement will come to an end in December 2018. The Board is working with the ministry to facilitate the transfer of the Program to Agricorp.

The Ministry of the Attorney General provides legal services to the Board. OMAFRA Legal Services Branch counsel provide advice, opinions and legal assistance in judicial reviews and in recovering of monies owed to the Board and contributes to the continuing education of board members.

OMAFRA's Regulatory Compliance Unit provides investigative services.

Initiatives Involving Third Parties

The MOU specifies that the Board is responsible for its own administrative/secretariat and adjudication support. This support was previously paid for by OMAFRA. In December 17, 2015, BCFPPI was the successful bidder in a competitive procurement and will continue to provide the Board with these services. Under the new contract, a BCFPPI employee was made responsible for:

  • acting as the Board's administrator, responsible for assisting the Board in preparing its annual report, business plan and other documentation required for compliance with the MOU and the AAD; and
  • providing day to day management of the Fund includes receiving and depositing fees; preparing monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements; preparing documentation for annual audits; and, investment of the Fund. The Fund is invested according to the MOU.
This agreement will come to an end in December 2018. The Board is working with the ministry to facilitate the transfer of the Program to Agricorp.

 

The Board also has an arrangement with a third party for the provision of secretariat services. This includes:

  • Attending all meetings of the Board including Hearings;
  • Recording of all minutes and distributing same;
  • Overseeing the effective processing and scheduling of claims;
  • Drafting decisions as directed by the Board
  • Assisting in all other adjudication tasks as directed.

Information Technology (IT)/Electronic Services Delivery (ESD) Plan

The Board currently has no IT and ESD plan for the coming year through 2021. Any IT that is required for software maintenance is supplied by a third party on a need basis.

Proposed Capital Expenditures

The Board currently has no capital expenditures planned through 2022.

Implementation Plan

Performance measures and targets for each objective are developed below. As part of its continuous improvement process, the Board will develop the oversight responsibility required to ensure that objectives are achieved. The Board will also track progress against these measures and prepare an annual report. Day to day activities of the Board will continue to be implemented by Agricorp.

Performance Measures and Targets

Goal: Protecting the long term viability/sustainability of the Fund for Livestock Producers

Performance Measure/Indicator Baseline 09/10 Actual 17/18 Targets 18/19 Targets 19/20 Targets 20/21

Targets

21/22

The Fund remains actuarially sound with a balance of at least $6.1M as recommended by the 2015 actuarial study 5.8 M $7.59 M $6.1 M $6.1 M $6.1 M $6.1 M
Engage an actuary, at least once every five years, to assess the long term financial sustainability of the Fund July 2010 Actuarial Study Completed in 2015 - Complete a new actuarial study - -
Unqualified audit opinion from the annual audit Achieved Achieved Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing Ongoing
Review investment policy annually to ensure that investment targets are met (e.g. return on investment) and take actions as necessary ROI of 3.97 % ROI of 3.45 % ROI of 3.50 % ROI of 3.65 % ROI of 3.70 % ROI of 3.75 %
Track debt owed to the Board and attempt to recover based on debt collection/
recoveries policy
N/A Achieved Debt recovery rate of at least 30 % Debt recovery rate of at least 30 % Debt recovery rate of at least 30 % Debt recovery rate of at least 30 %
Budget approved by December 31st as part of the business planning process

May 20104

Dec 18 Achieved December 2019 December 2020 December 2021

December 2022

Quarterly Financial Reports completed and submitted to OMAFRA within 15 days of the end of the quarter Achieved Achieved Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly Quarterly
Regular monitoring of payments from the Fund to ensure 100% compliance with section 5(2); 5(5) and 7(2) of the FPPA Payments compliant with FPPA Payments compliant with FPPA Ongoing monitoring of payments to ensure compliance Ongoing monitoring of payments to ensure compliance Ongoing monitoring of payments to ensure compliance Ongoing monitoring of payments to ensure compliance
4 Target changed in 2015/16 to meet the new AAD requirements for business plans

Goal: Strengthening Board governance and accountability

Performance Measure/Indicator Baseline 09/10 Actual 17/18 Targets 18/19 Targets 19/20 Targets 20/21 Targets 21/22
Annual Report submitted within 90 days of the agency's receipt of its audited financial statements from the Auditor General 90 days (July annually) 5 Achieved submitted
within 05 days
90 days of receipt of audited statements 90 days of receipt of audited statements 90 days of receipt of audited statements 90 days of receipt of audited statements
Business Plan submitted by December 31st annually March 31/10 6

Achieved
First draft submitted
October, 2018

December 31/19

December 31/20 December 31/21 December 31/22
Submit Quarterly Risk Assessment Report to OMAFRA within 15 days of the end of the quarter Achieved Achieved Within 15 days of the end of the quarter Within 15 days of the end of the quarter Within 15 days of the end of the quarter Within 15 days of the end of the quarter
Stakeholders informed of Boards finances via annual inserts in the BFO's annual report February Achieved February 2019 Febrary 2020 February 2021 February 2022

5 Target changed in 2015/16 to meet the new AAD requirements for annual reports

6 Target changed in 2015/16 to meet the new AAD requirements for business plans

Goal: Ensuring that there is an adjudication process in place that is simple, fair, and accessible, which minimizes delays

Performance Measure/Indicator Baseline 09/10 Actual 17/18 Targets 18/19 Targets 19/20 Target 20/21 Target 21/22
Number of days from receipt of report completed by investigators until the Board makes and issues its decision 60 Days Achieved There were no claims 60 Days 60 days 60 days 60 days
Work with stakeholder groups to ensure that the ministry receives required information to appoint Board members on a timely basis 5 or more members appointed Achieved 5 or more members appointed 5 or more members appointed 5 or more members appointed 5 or more members appointed
New board trained/ oriented on the function of the Board and their roles and responsibilities n/a n/a At Board meeting following appointment At Board meeting following appointment At Board meeting following appointment

At Board meeting following appointment

Working collaboratively with Ministry and Agricorp staff to supply information and have meetings to ensure a smooth transition of the program. n/a Completed on a timely basis n/a n/a n/a n/a

Goal: Transfer of the Program delivery from Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program Inc. to Agricorp.

Performance Measure/Indicator Baseline 09/10          
Program Transfer completed and Agreement signed by December 31, 2018 n/a          

Communication Plan

All external communications of the Board to the public, stakeholders and others shall be approved by the Board.

The Board's target audiences are producers and licensed dealers. The main interface the Board has with their target audience is when they come before the Board regarding a claim. The final outcome of that process will dictate the response by the Board and the stakeholder.

Board communications occur at two levels:

  • Communications to parties to a claim against the Fund directed by Board-approved protocol.
  • Broad-based communications to all stakeholders as an education piece

Key messages for directed communication

  • Clearly outlines the regulations that were followed in making a decision
  • Identifies section or sections of the FPPA and O. Reg. 560/93 relied on in arriving at a decision
  • States that a decision is normally not made without granting a hearing in the event that the Board sees potential grounds for refusal

Key messages for broad-based communication

  • Importance of dealing with licensed dealers
  • Importance of following the rules and regulations when selling livestock
  • The risk of having a claim denied if rules are not followed

Vehicles to communicate key messages

  • A brochure titled "Ontario Beef Cattle Financial Protection Program" outlining the program and function of the Board will be distributed yearly as an insert through Beef Magazine and Dairy Magazine
  • Semi-annually, Beef Magazine carries the list of licensed cattle dealers and the outline of the program. This publication goes to every cattle producer in Ontario.
  • A list of all licensed cattle dealers on the web site, updated daily or whenever any changes are made. This is a function of the licensing side of the program but also supports the Board's communication strategy.
  • Direct communication by letter to specific stakeholders.
The Minister will consult with the Chair as appropriate when significant new directions for the Board are contemplated. The Deputy Minister will meet with Chair, as necessary, to discuss matters of mutual importance to the Board and OMAFRA. The Chair will keep the Minister advised, in a timely manner, of all planned events and issues that concern or can be reasonably expected to concern the Minister in the exercise of his/her responsibilities.

 

Respectfully Submitted

Larry Witzel
Chair, Livestock Financial Protection Board

Appendix 1: Board Members and Terms

Name Organization Date Appointed Expiry Date
Mr. Larry Witzel, Chair Ontario Livestock Auction Markets Association April 17, 2015 March 31, 2022
Mr. Paul Sharpe, Vice Chair Beef Farmers of Ontario November 30, 2007 February 28, 2022
Vacant. Canadian Meat Council - -
Mr. Murray Allen Dairy Industry September 05, 2008 January 29, 2021
Ms. Jennifer Haley Veal Industry October 06, 2008 October 06, 2021
Ms. Laurie Nicol Independent Meat Packers and Processors April 20, 2018 March 31, 2021
Mr. Howard Greig Ontario Livestock Dealer's Association March 05, 2019 March 05, 2022

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca