National Farmers Union – Ontario
As Amended March 17, 2012
In these By-laws, unless the context otherwise requires, the expression:
1) “Organization” shall mean the National Farmers Union – Ontario as incorporated under the
Corporations Act of Ontario, May 9, 2002;
2) “National Farmers Union” (“NFU”) shall mean the national Association of that name
incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1970 (Chapter 80 of the Statutes of Canada, 1970);
3) “Member” shall mean a member of the Organization as described in Article 4 of these By-laws;
4) “Local” shall mean a local affiliate of the National Farmers Union – Ontario as described in
Article 5 of these By-laws;
5) “Regional Council” shall mean the board of directors of the National Farmers Union – Ontario,
being the governing body of the organization as set out in Article 6 of these By-laws;
6) “Act” shall mean the Corporations Act of Ontario.
The name of the Organization shall be “National Farmers Union – Ontario”.
2) Head Office
The head office of the Organization shall be at such place in the Province of Ontario as the Regional
Council may from time to time decide.
3) No Objective of Profit
The Organization shall be carried on without any objective of profit. Any accretions to the
corporation shall be used in promoting its objects.
4) Non-partisanship and Non-discrimination
The Organization shall have no political affiliation, shall be non-partisan in politics and shall be free
from racial, religious, ethnic, gender, ability, sexual orientation and political discrimination.
The Objects of the Organization shall be: to represent persons carrying on farming businesses in
Ontario, so as:
1) to promote the betterment of farmers in the attainment of their economic and social goals;
2) to conduct projects for the benefit of farmers in the development of markets for and marketing of
3) to achieve the reduction of costs and other measures designated to increase the economic benefits
4) to conduct educational and research projects for the benefit of farmers;
5) to promote and secure legislation and other forms of government action for the benefit of
6) to promote a higher standard of community life in agriculture; and
7) to provide services for its members consistent with its objects and to work jointly with any other
persons or organizations for the attainment of its objects.
Any member of the National Farmers Union resident in Ontario who meets the qualifications for
membership and has paid the designated membership fee shall be a member of the Organization. No
person shall be a member of the Organization who is not a member of the National Farmers Union.
2) Qualifications for Membership
The following persons shall be eligible for full voting membership in the organization: any person
engaged in farming in Ontario, including the resident spouse or children of that person, and any
retired or displaced farmer until such person has been employed for two years in any other industry.
3) Membership Fee
Members of the Organization shall pay a minimum annual membership fee as set out in the current
Ontario Farm Business Registration regulations plus applicable taxes, which shall entitle the
member farm family to a single vote.
4) Rights and Responsibilities of Members
Members shall have the right to attend meetings of the Organization, to vote, and to stand for
elected office. Members shall have the right to make submissions on relevant issues of concern,
either through their Local or directly to the Regional Council, and the Regional Council shall have
the duty to consider the submissions and respond.
Any non-farm individual may become an “Associate” of the Organization by the payment of an
annual fee of $50. Associates do not have the right to vote or to hold an elected position.
A Local may be constituted by a group of 10 or more members, each of whom has paid the
membership fee and is carrying on a farming business in the area concerned. The geographic
location and boundaries of each Local shall be designated by the Regional Council.
2) Local Governance
Each Local shall hold an annual general meeting, at which the members shall elect a Local
Executive consisting of a President, a Vice-President, and three to five other directors, at least one
of whom shall be a woman and one a youth.
3) Rights and Duties of Locals
Each Local shall have the right to decide the use of monies it receives pursuant to the provisions of
the Farm Registration and Farm Organizations Funding Act. It shall have the right to send
representatives to any meeting of the Organization to which representatives of Locals are invited,
and to bring forward resolutions to the Annual General Meeting. Locals will have the duty to
submit annual financial statements, meeting minutes and an annual report on activities in
accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding between Locals and Regional Council.
4) Support for Locals
The Regional Council and the Locals will develop resources which will help local executives to
fulfill their duties. These may include clear job descriptions, a meeting minute template, a financial
reporting template and other resources. An effective process for sharing information, minutes and
financial reports will help the locals and regional council fulfill the requirements for reporting to the
Farm Business Registration tribunal with a minimum of extra work.
The business of the Organization shall be under the direction of a board of directors known as the
Regional Council. The Regional Council shall be made up of eight directors, who shall be members
in good standing of the Organization.
The Ontario Regional Council shall consist of eight directors. They shall be elected by the
delegates at the Annual General Meeting of the Organization. If a position becomes vacant, the
Regional Council may appoint a person to serve as director until the next AGM.
The eight directors shall include: the Ontario Coordinator and she/he will serve as President (Chair)
of the NFU-O and as a representative to the National Board of the NFU. A separate election will be
held for two additional Ontario representatives to the National Board of the NFU. At the Annual
General Meeting of the Organization elections will also take place for the following positions: a
Women’s Advisor who shall sit on the NFU’s Women’s Advisory Committee, a Youth Advisor who
shall sit on the NFU’s Youth Advisory Committee, and three directors-at-large. At the inaugural
meeting of the Ontario Regional Council, the body will select one of its members, excluding the
President, to act as the Vice President of the NFU-O.
A nominating committee will have nomination forms with the job description, oath of office and
declaration of a willingness to serve for each of the elected positions. The nominating committee
will ensure that these are posted for the information of members at the meeting, are available for
any member interested in seeking nomination and that candidates will have completed the
appropriate nomination form for the position they are seeking before the vote for that position.
3) Meetings of Directors
Meetings of the Regional Council shall be held as the Regional Council, the Regional Coordinator,
or any two directors may determine such meetings are needed. Notice of the meeting shall be given
to all directors, verbally, electronically or in writing, seven days in advance. The form and format of
the meetings shall be decided by the Regional Council, and quorum shall be a majority of the
4) Waiver of Notice
A meeting of Regional Council may be held at any time needed, without prior notice thereof,
providing at least two-thirds of the directors are present at such meeting and consent to the holding
of the same before the commencement of the meeting.
5) Submissions by Individual Members
The Regional Council must consider submissions it receives from individual members on relevant
matters of concern, and must respond to the member or members in a timely fashion.
7. Officers and Management Committee
The Officers of the organization shall be the members of the Regional Council. The Regional
Coordinator shall act as the President and Chair of the Organization. The seven officers shall
appoint a secretary and a treasurer, or these roles may be combined into one secretary-treasurer
2) Management Committee
The Regional Council may, if it deems it necessary, appoint from among its members a
Management Committee to implement the policy of the Organization and to act on behalf of the
Regional Council between meetings of the Regional Council, subject to ratification by the Regional
The Regional Council may appoint such other committees or working groups as it deems useful in
carrying out the purposes of the Organization.
9. Meetings of Members
1) Annual General Meeting
The Organization shall hold an Annual General Meeting each year at a place within Ontario and on
a date chosen by the Regional Council. The Region 3 (Ontario) Convention of the National Farmers
Union shall take place concurrently with the Annual General Meeting of the Organization.
Notice of an Annual or Special General Meeting shall be sent in writing to all members and
associates at least thirty (30) days before the date of the meeting.
3) Special General Meetings
A Special General Meeting of the Organization may be called at any time by the Regional Council
or by 10% of the membership as provided for under the Act.
4) Delegates to meetings
No person shall act as a delegate to the Annual General Meeting or at a Special Meeting of the
Organization unless such person is a member of the Organization. Every Local shall be entitled to
elect from among its members, delegates to the Annual General Meeting or Special Meetings of the
Organization. Every Local shall be entitled to at least 3 delegates. For Locals with more than 50
members, the Local shall be entitled to one additional delegate for each 25 members or major
fraction thereof greater than 50 members. The number of delegates from a Local shall be
established by the records of the Local on the date of the notice for such meeting.
Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. Decisions at the Annual General Meeting shall be made by
majority vote of delegates, with the exception of a vote to remove a director or to amend these By-
laws, both of which shall require a two-thirds vote of delegates to pass. Decisions at a Special
General Meeting shall require a two-thirds vote of delegates to pass.
1) Fiscal Year
The Fiscal Year of the Organization shall run from October 1 to September 30 of each year.
2) Financial Statements
The Organization shall ensure that its annual financial statements include a balance sheet, a
statement of members’ equity, a statement of revenues and expenses, and a statement of changes in
financial position. The statements shall be audited, and both the statements and the auditor’s report
shall be prepared in accordance with the standards set forth in the handbook of the Canadian
Institute of Chartered Accountants.
3) Contribution to Locals
The Organization shall contribute to the Locals in each Fiscal Year, an amount equal to 25% of the
membership monies received as specified in Section 5. (1) 12. of the Farm Registration and farm
Organizations Funding Act. The financial statements shall clearly show the amounts and
4) Administration and Service Agreements
The Organization may, if the Regional Council so decides, enter into an agreement with the
National Farmers Union for central administration of its finances, payroll, membership lists, data
base and such other aspects of its administration as would benefit the Organization.
Similarly, the Organization may, upon decision of the Regional Council, enter into one or more
agreements with the National Farmers Union to provide such services to members as the Regional
Council may deem beneficial. Such services may include but shall not be limited to: research and
analysis; publications and information; organizing; policy development and representation at the
national and international levels; training, education and leadership development; conferences,
consultations and other events; special projects; and networking with other farm and non-farm
organizations on matters of common concern.
11. Amendment of By-laws
These By-laws may only be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the delegates present and
entitled to vote at an Annual General Meeting or at a Special Meeting duly called for that purpose.
At least 30 days’ notice of a proposal to amend these By-laws shall be given to the Locals and the
members in writing, with details of all proposed amendments.