by SUSAN MANN
Eastern Ontario poultry processor, Laplante Poultry Farms Ltd., has until the middle of this month to pay $35,000 in court costs after a Divisional Court dismissed its application to review an agricultural tribunal’s decision.
Laplante Poultry Farms was ordered to pay Chicken Farmers of Ontario $10,000 and Riverview Poultry Ltd. of Smithville $25,000 within 30 days of the decision being handed down June 18.
Laplante, owned by Robert Laplante and his parents, has been trying to get a larger share of the Ontario chicken market. Processors must have calculated base, which is a processor’s share of the market measured in kilograms and determined by Chicken Farmers of Ontario, along with a Class A license issued by Chicken Farmers to buy chicken from Ontario farmers.
Laplante Poultry wanted an additional 286,553 kilograms of calculated base on top of the 156,449 kg share it was granted by Chicken Farmers in 2012. Processors can get more calculated base by buying it from another processor or through a reassignment of bases by Chicken Farmers.
Chicken Farmers of Ontario and the Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal both turned down Laplante’s request for more calculated base. After Chicken Farmers turned down Laplante’s request, the processor appealed the decision to the tribunal.
At the tribunal hearing last year, Laplante argued it was entitled to the calculated base of Remy Poultry Inc. when it went out of business in 2010 but that company sold its base to Riverview Poultry Ltd. of Smithville.
The case for the judicial review of the tribunal’s and Chicken Farmers’ decisions was heard in Toronto last month by justices D.L. Corbett, Mary A. Sanderson and H. Rady.
In an oral decision released June 30, Corbett said the standard of review of the tribunal’s decision is reasonableness. “A decision is reasonable if there is justification, transparency and intelligibility within the decision-making process and the decision falls within a range of possible outcomes which are defensible in respect of facts and the law.”
Robert Laplante couldn’t be reached for comment. BF