April 2020
Line Fences Act Now Administered by Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

2020-04-01 12:16:31 PM

Effective today, the Line Fences Act will be administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Taking authority of the Act from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), OMAFRA is tasked with supporting agriculture and rural affairs. With this, AMCTO is pleased that the ministry is now administering the Act and that it will continue to be a solution for rural communities across Ontario.

Following its proposed repeal in Bill 132, AMCTO submitted comments to the Standing Committee on General Government expressing concerns that the repeal would show to be more complex for some communities. Specifically, it may have posed an administrative burden to municipalities with limited staffing resources that would have had to draft by-laws to help resolve cost-sharing disputes.

For example, rural and agricultural communities that see disputes arise between livestock owners and cash crop farmers would require a different cost-sharing model than smaller residential communities that have disputes often relating to residential property owners with privacy or land access concerns.

Following consultations and review by the Committee, the Bill received Royal Assent without the repeal and, shortly after, it was announced that the Act would be moving from MMAH to OMAFRA.

The Line Fences Act was created to provide a procedure for fence dispute resolutions between owners and adjoining properties. In 2001, the Municipal Act was adopted and provided municipalities the authority to pass a by-law to use in place of the Line Fences Act. The repeal was reasoned on the ability of municipalities to regulate fencing matters through their own bylaws and standards.

For more information, please see below:

Line Fences Act, 1990

AMCTO: Bill 132’s Proposed Line Fences Act Repeal Withdrawn

AMCTO: Comments Submitted on Proposed Repeal of the Line Fences Act in Bill 132

AMCTO: Government Passes Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act


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