The health of Ontario’s agri-food sector depends on the strength of our rural communities and regional economies. That shouldn’t be a new message to anyone in agricultural circles. When the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) advocates for our industry it always includes our rural communities. And those communities are as strong as the investments made in infrastructure to ensure they are viable, competitive and connected.
As the federal government moves forward with plans for an offset system to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, OFA continues to advocate for the positive role agriculture has in addressing climate change. The recent release of the government’s proposed emissions pricing system – that includes the use of carbon offset credits – brings to light the work that OFA has long been focused on to show the positive contributions agriculture makes in reducing greenhouse gases.
Frustration among Canadian farmers because of political meddling in our markets is reaching an all time high. Global trade disputes are putting farmers at a disadvantage and the loss of global markets for our export products is entirely out of our control.
September signals the start of many things in our rural communities. School gets underway. Harvest continues in full swing. And farm shows and fall fairs provide destinations to network, gather new ideas, catch up with friends and speculate about the fall weather.
In another blow to the promise of better broadband access across rural Ontario, Bell Canada recently announced it was cutting back on its wireless home internet expansion into rural areas by 20%. The telecom giant’s move was in response to a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruling that smaller internet service providers would pay lower “wholesale” prices for Bell’s infrastructure.
Premier Doug Ford announced this week that his government is moving forward with the plan to download the cost of some provincial services to municipalities. Shifting more financial responsibility to Ontario’s 444 municipalities will have implications for those residents in rural communities across the province.
Unwanted trespassers on farm property are a reality for Ontario farmers. With a growing interest by consumers in where their food comes from, and more people travelling to rural areas for outdoor experiences, it’s not surprising that farmers are experiencing unwanted visitors on their farms. And it’s more than just an annoyance…it’s a biosecurity threat.
The numbers might be a few years old, but a recent Statistics Canada report confirms the significant economic contributions made by our agriculture and food industry. Statistics Canada data released last month reports on economic numbers from 2015, but it demonstrates the importance of the overall agricultural industry to the Canadian economy.
Despite commitments to support Canadian agriculture through this challenging year, the federal government is falling short on supporting farmers facing financial stress as a result of global trade disruptions.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) welcomes the long-awaited news of a public investment in broadband and cellular service. The announcement, made this week by the Ontario government, detailed a 2019 provincial budget line of $315 million over the next five years for broadband and cellular expansion.