GUELPH, ON [June 18, 2021] – Today, the Ontario government announced a shuffle in its cabinet, resulting in several key members and ministerial positions changing hands. A notable change impacting the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and its members is the departure of Hon. Ernie Hardman as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Hon. Lisa Thompson will take over the reins leading the agriculture and rural portfolio in Ontario.
With the next provincial election approximately one year away, Ontario Premier Hon. Doug Ford restructured his cabinet resulting in eight elected officials moving ministries, seven newly appointed ministers and five moved out of cabinet. We thank Premier Ford for his continued support of the agri-food sector by appointing strong, valued leaders to champion agriculture and rural communities.
As we collectively embark on a new path with Hon. Lisa Thompson as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, OFA would like to acknowledge and recognize the significant contributions of Hon. Ernie Hardeman as a champion of the industry and our rural communities. Minister Hardeman was a true advocate for agriculture and rural Ontario and understood the importance of our sector to the entire province.
“We engaged regularly with Minister Hardman over the past few years and wholeheartedly appreciate his passion for agriculture and his desire to see our dynamic industry grow, innovate and move forward,” said Peggy Brekveld, OFA President. “We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours and appreciated our time working together for the betterment of Ontario agriculture.”
OFA has built a solid relationship with Minister Thompson during her tenure in cabinet and as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). The organization worked closely with her last year while serving in her previous role as Minister of Government and Consumer Services. Minister Thompson was a key partner in addressing OFA’s concerns with the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) and the potential negative impacts on our democratic structure.
“Minister Thompson has a valuable understanding of farm and rural issues and has a direct connection to those communities,” said Brekveld. “We look forward to working alongside her to grow the industry and continue to focus on the priorities and opportunities that will stimulate economic growth for all Ontarians.”
Additional high profile moves within cabinet include Dave Piccini taking over for Jeff Yurek as the new Minister of Environment, Todd Smith appointed as Minister of Energy, Kinga Surma assumes the role of Minister of Infrastructure and Greg Rickford receives a merged role as the new Minister of Northern Development, Mining, Natural Resources, along with Indigenous Affairs. This new ministry will focus on economic growth, development and sustainability in northern Ontario.
A change in leadership within the government offers the opportunity to engage new ministries, MPPs and staff to better understand the vital role the agri-food industry and rural communities have in producing economic prosperity for the province.
OFA looks forward to reaching out, building a relationship and having a conversation about the importance of considering regulations and policies that impact agriculture from all perspectives.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 38,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer. For more information, visit www.ofa.on.ca.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218