Wynne Eliminates Food

QUEEN’S PARK – Today in a statement in the Legislature Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, questioned why in Premier Wynne’s new cabinet the Food portion of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been eliminated.

“Ontarians want to know, when Wynne separated the Ministry why didn’t she give anyone responsibility for food?” asked Hardeman. “There should be someone in Cabinet to voice the importance of food and consider the impact of new regulations and legislation on our food manufacturers and retailers.”

At the swearing in ceremony on February 11, 2013 Wynne clearly stated“I Kathleen O’Day Wynne swear that I will duly and faithfully and to the best of my skill and knowledge execute the powers and trusts reposed in me as Premier and president of the council and Minister of Agriculture of the province of Ontario, so help me god.”

Link to swearing in video: http://www.citynews.ca/2013/02/11/kathleen-wynne-sworn-in-as-ontarios-new-premier/

Premier Wynne split the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs taking on the part-time job of Agriculture Minister herself. There was no mention of food in any of the oaths taken by cabinet ministers.

“We believe in the importance of Ontario’s food system – from our farmers, to our processors to our food terminal, retailers and farmers markets,” said Hardeman. “Perhaps Premier Wynne simply doesn’t understand the importance of food to our province and our economy.”

According to a recent economic impact study for the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors, Ontario’s food manufacturing industry is a $39 billion sector, with over 120,000 direct jobs and close to $7 billion in exports.

“It is hard to believe this government’s claims to support local food when they separated the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and eliminated food,” Hardeman explained. “I hope that the Premier will explain whether she deliberately eliminated food or whether she simply forgot about it”

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