OPEN LETTEROctober 7, 2013
Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Bldg, Rm 281
Dear Premier Wynne,
Earlier today at the Premier’s Summit on Agri-food you challenged our Agri-food sector to double their output. While this is a laudable goal I am disappointed that you have not laid out a plan to make it happen. I understand there were no details provided and that you did not commit to any new actions to make our Agri-food businesses more competitive.
With all due respect many of our food processors are having trouble expanding due to your government’s policies. In our surveys we found that:
77.2 % of farmers and 75.5 % of food processors said red tape was increasing;
79.6% of food processors and 60.7% of farmers said the impact of increasing hydro rates was significant; and
Almost 70% of food processing companies said the number of one thing that would allow them to sell more of their product is a reduction in government regulation.
Premier, we want the agriculture and food processing industry to expand, but we recognize that it is not enough to simply wish for it to happen.
If you don’t have a plan I encourage you to read our white paper on Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,Respect for Rural Ontario, which lays out a number of steps to strengthen the industry.
As always I would be happy to meet with you to discuss ways to create an environment for expansion and job creation.
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
PC Critic for Agriculture and Food