Premier, Action Needed for Our Processors

QUEEN’S PARK – Today in the Ontario Legislature Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture and Food, asked Premier Wynne to take action to address the challenges facing food processors starting by supporting the Million Jobs Act later this week.


“Two weeks ago I wrote and asked you to support the Million Jobs Act to reverse your government’s policies that are forcing businesses out of Ontario,” said Hardeman.  “It would create jobs and help food processors meet your challenge. Premier, will you help these businesses grow by supporting the Million Jobs Act introduced by Tim Hudak?”

Today’s question followed up on an open letter that Hardeman sent to Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Food Kathleen Wynne on February 14, 2014 outlining the need for the Million Jobs Act. (attached)

“Four months ago you told the agri-food industry to double their growth, but you didn’t do anything to make that possible,” said Hardeman. “These businesses are struggling with red-tape, trade barriers and the high cost of operating in Ontario.”

During the question Hardeman talked about the impact of increasing hydro rates, one of the problems addressed by the Million Jobs Act.

“We’ve heard from food processors that their biggest challenge is the massive hydro increases – in fact we’ve heard that many of them have already told you the same thing,” said Hardeman. “As Premier or as Agriculture Minister have you done anything at all to address the hydro increases hitting our food processors?”

Wynne did not address hydro increases in her response to the first question and referred the supplementary.

The Million Jobs Act is being brought forward for second reading debate by PC Leader Tim Hudak on Thursday February 27. It would cut red-tape, reduce interprovincial trade barriers and address the spiraling hydro increases. It would also reform apprenticeship ratios to increase both opportunities for young people and the number of skilled tradespeople.

“This should not be a partisan issue. The PC Caucus has put forward a plan that would help address the challenges that Ontario businesses, including farmers and food processors, are facing,” said Hardeman. “I’m disappointed that as either Premier or as Minister of Agriculture and Food Kathleen Wynne isn’t prepared to look at this objectively and do the right thing for Ontario.” 

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