Wynne Replaces Ontario Agriculture week

QUEEN’S PARK – Today Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said the government’s Local Food Act does very little to improve our food system and insults farmers by replacing Ontario Agriculture Week.

“Everyone involved in agriculture knows that the week before thanksgiving is Ontario Agriculture Week, a time to recognize the contributions of our farmers and I am very disappointed Premier Wynne is proposing to replace it,” said Hardeman. “While it is important to celebrate local food, the government seems to have forgotten where that food comes from.”

The Local Food Act introduced today moved local food week to the week starting the Monday before thanksgiving, which has been Ontario Agriculture week since 1998.

“I am disappointed that the bill introduced today has very little substance and will not take any real action to improve our agriculture and food sectors,” said Hardeman. “In our white paper we put forward a number of proposals they could have included which would have a real impact such as creating a regional food terminal and implementing one-window access to government for farmers and agri-businesses.”

The Local Food Act again says the Minister “may” set targets for the public sector to “aspire” to respect of local food. In his response to the Premier, Hardeman quoted a number of local food groups that had said the Local Food Act needed to be “strengthened” and called it a “Missed opportunity”. He pointed out that Wynne had herself promised a “strengthened” food act but failed to deliver.

“I’m concerned that this government continues to show a lack of respect for the Agriculture and Food industry – reducing it to a part-time Minister, introducing a Local Food Act with no meaningful changes for the food system and now replacing Ontario Agriculture Week,” said Hardeman.

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