60.7% of Farmers Significantly Impacted by Hydro Increases

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs released Ontario PC Agriculture survey results that over 60% of Ontario farmers reported the increasing cost of hydro had a “significant” impact on their operation.

“97% of farmers said they have been impacted by increased hydro costs and 60.7% of those said the impact has been significant,” said Hardeman “Farmers are working hard to make ends meet and grow their businesses but they are struggling with the impact of government policies like spiraling hydro rates.”

Government documents forecast that the cost of hydro is going to increase 46% over the next five years, primarily due to green energy. The recently discovered cost of relocating the two power plants which is now forecast to cost over $900 million will increase hydro costs further.

“Most farmers don’t have the ability to set the price of their products so rising input costs, such as hydro, directly impact their bottom line and can force them out of business,” said Hardeman. “This government claims to support farmers but continues to make policies based on public relations and political gain without considering the impact on farmers and rural Ontario.”

Last summer the Ontario PC caucus launched a survey of Ontario farmers to identify challenges farmers are facing and what government can do to strengthen the agriculture industry. It found that 97% of farmers said that they had been impacted by the increasing cost of hydro and 60.7% said the impact was significant. Only 3% said there was no impact.

“Again I want to thank the farmers from across Ontario who took the time to share their experiences and the challenges they are facing,” said Hardeman. “From their responses it is clear that much more needs to be done to create an environment in which our farmers can grow and prosper.”

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For more information, contact:
Ernie Hardeman, MPP Oxford
(416) 325-1239