Ontario is working to reduce red tape for over 500 Ontario agricultural and horticultural organ-izations in the province. This fall, the Ontario government will introduce legislation that, if passed, would save organizations and their volunteers time and money by removing burdensome and outdated rules that regulate agricultural and horticultural societies. “We want to remove unnecessary and outdated burdens for our province’s agricultural and horticultural organ-izations,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Many local fairs rely on volunteers. By reducing red tape, we will help save these organ-izations time and money so they can focus on what they do best – promoting rural Ontario and agriculture.” If passed, the proposed changes include giving organizations flexibility and financial savings by removing the requirement to both mail and publish notices of annual meetings. This could reduce compliance costs for all organizations by over $100,000 a year. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Markham and East York Agricultural Society (Markham Fair), we welcome the change to the regulations surrounding our Annual General Meeting,” said Todd Silverman, Markham Fair General Manager. “OMAFRA has eased the administrative burden on the society and helped us reduce costs associated with mailings. We welcome the modernization of the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act”.