(Guelph, ON): On October 16, Justice Beaudoin released his decision on the judicial review of the Appeal Tribunal’s denial of accreditation for the National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O) for part of 2012 and all of 2013.
In the decision, Justice Beaudoin states, “There is a public duty to act in this case and the duty was owed to the [NFU-O]. Having concluded that the Tribunal relied on irrelevant criteria in denying the [NFU-O] standing to apply for accreditation, there is a clear right on the part of the NFU-O to accreditation as has been recognized since 2002.”
John Sutherland, President of the NFU-O, says, “Council is pleased with Judge Beaudoin’s decision in our favour, although we are frustrated about having to spend precious resources to obtain a fair assessment about meeting the criteria for re-accreditation. Our members have fully supported this effort, for which Council is very grateful. We could not have carried out these actions without their support. Now, we are looking forward to continuing the work we have always done to represent farmers in Ontario.”
In his decision, the judge also states, “The 2,247 members of the NFU-O have accepted the affiliation with the NFU and have chosen the NFU-O to represent them… There is no evidence that the members have been misled or are unaware of the role of the national organization.”
Terry Boehm, National President of the NFU, says, “The NFU takes pride in being a democratic organization that is completely transparent and accountable to members. We don’t hide or obfuscate the truth, whether in accreditation processes or in working on behalf of farmers. The NFU-O’s path to this particular accreditation has been tortuous, and has cost the organization a great deal in terms of lost revenue, legal fees and damaged reputation. NFU members across Canada appreciate Ontario members’ commitment to obtaining justice in this situation, and look forward to continuing our work on the issues that are important to all Canadian farmers.”