Why Hasn’t Wynne Proclaimed Local Food Act?

WOODSTOCK –Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture and Food,is questioning why,after almost six months,Minister Wynne still has not proclaimed the key sections of the Local Food Actwhich would increase local food in the broader public sector.

“I’m disappointed that after claiming to be a champion of local food the Premier and Agriculture Minister quietly refused to proclaim the sections of the Local Food Act that would require her to set local food targets for the public sector,” saidHardeman.“This was the main focus of the bill that she introduced and yet she chose not to put those sections in force.”

After being passed by the Legislature and given Royal Assent legislation must be proclaimed before going into effect. The government can choose whether to proclaim the whole bill at once, or as they did in this case, chose not to proclaim certain sections. The Local Food Act was passed by the Ontario Legislature on November 5, 2013.

The sections of the Local Food Act that have not been proclaimed are those which require the Minister of Agriculture, within one year, to set targets and goals for:

  • Encouraging increased use of local food by public sector organizations; and
  • Increasing access to local food.

“These sections of the Local Food Actwere written and put forward by the government. The government boasted about them publicly and then hoped no one would notice when they didn’t proclaim them,” said Hardeman.“These are the sections that would hold the government accountable and yet they specifically chose not to put them into effect.”

The government has also failed to proclaim the section that the PC Caucus amendment added to the Local Food Act to create a tax credit for farmers who donate to community food programs and food banks.

“I’m extremely disappointed that it appears the government was focused more on public relations than actually making a difference to local food in Ontario,” said Hardeman. “That’s not fair to the many people and organizations who worked hard to strengthen this bill and believed the government was serious about their commitment.”

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