May 29, 2012

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: A year ago today, our leader, Tim Hudak, announced that a PC government would implement one-window access for farmers and agribusinesses. Rather than dealing with conflicting answers from different ministries and struggling to find all the permits and regulations, they would have a one-window access to the provincial government through OMAFRA.
Three months later, the Liberals copied our commitment and promised one window, but they’ve done nothing about it. The red tape problem facing the agriculture industry is just as bad as ever but this government continues to ignore the problem in rural Ontario. It’s hurting our agriculture industry and costing us jobs. Agribusinesses are deciding not to expand because the compliance system is so confusing and difficult.
Food processors that try to locate in Ontario complain that they can’t get a straight answer on the rules they are required to meet. Farmers are spending too much time on paperwork and needless regulation instead of focusing on growing great Ontario food.
We’ve heard numerous stories of farmers and companies who asked the government what they needed to do and completed all the requirements only to be told there’s another test, another study or another permit.
It has been a year since we announced we would create a one-window access for farmers and agribusinesses. We’re flattered that the McGuinty government copied our idea, but they haven’t done anything to implement it. It’s time to reduce red tape for our agriculture industry. It’s time to actually follow through on a commitment and implement our one-window access. Thank you very much.