News

Bringing our message home to politicians (2013)

By Mark Wales, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Ontario agriculture is busy. Fall harvest is in full swing, Ontario celebrated its 15th annual Agriculture Week and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) recently held a fall reception with MPPs at Queen’s Park.

OFA regularly meets with provincial government representatives and policy makers, bringing the interests of Ontario agriculture to their attention. On October 8 we hosted our annual fall reception and one-on-one meetings with MPPs in Toronto. Our focus was in presenting how agriculture can grow Ontario jobs and prosperity.

The OFA believes the best investment our provincial government can make in farming and our rural economy is the development of natural gas infrastructure in rural Ontario. This investment would generate significant economic stimulation, and create jobs, long-term energy savings and reduced demand on our already burdened electrical supply. Expanding natural gas infrastructure to rural Ontario just makes sense.

OFA directors also discussed the potential impact of raising minimum wage to the agri-food sector. We reviewed the importance of suitable property assessment and taxation. And we covered the need to protect agricultural land as part of the Aggregate Resources Act. 

We know that farmers consider regulations to be the number one issue affecting their business. OFA directors reminded MPPs of this message and recent successes with the Ontario government’s Open for Business initiative. OFA has worked to reduce regulatory red tape across provincial ministries through this successful consultation process, and looks forward to further improvements.

A recent government initiative, led by Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food, Kathleen Wynne, is the development of the Local Food Act. OFA is very pleased to see this initiative, highlighting the benefits of local food promotion. We shared this with MPPs and challenged them to go even further and add food literacy and food access to the act as it moves towards a more comprehensive food strategy for Ontario. An increase in food education and access to local food will help drive our economic health and the physical health of our province.  

Thanksgiving is almost here. MPPs will be in their home constituencies following the holiday, and OFA encourages all members to visit with their MPPs. We’ve laid the groundwork by identifying the key issues affecting Ontario farm businesses and opportunities for the government to help our industry and province grow. Visit ofa.on.ca and click on Agriculture’s Agenda for Growth for more information on these issues and key points to address with your MPP.

Our province’s Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food, Kathleen Wynne goes on record as saying Ontario’s agri-food sector is a rising star. As farmers, we can’t wait to shine.

For more information contact:

Mark Wales
President
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-773-6706

Neil Currie
General Manager
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883



Comments

Gerry Loeters. says on October 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Mark. Are you sure that you want to promote gasfracturing. I read that there are big possible future problems with this such as well contamination and sinkholes appearing? Energie produced from growing crops might be a better choice for the future?G.Loeters.


Gerry Loeters. says on October 11, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Mark. I n my previous e-mail I was against infrastructure natural gas. I find out this is not what I thought it was,pumping water under pressure into gaswells so extra gas can be extracted. This is probably a good idea. Sorry. G.Loeters.


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