Wynne’s secret swearing in

WOODSTOCK –Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said Premier Wynne needs to come clean with the agriculture community and Ontarians about the fact that three days after her initial swearing in she had another secret ceremony.

“Only now, over a week later, have we discovered Wynne was sworn in again secretly to cover up the fact that she forgot food,” said Hardeman. “Instead of confessing that she had made a mistake and explaining why she eliminated the food portion of the Ministry, Wynne tried to hide the truth.”

The new provincial cabinet sworn in on February 11 separated the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, however no minister was given the responsibility for food. In her oath Wynne clearly states “…as Premier and president of the council and Minister of Agriculture of the province of Ontario…” Previous to Wynne, food had been officially recognized in the name of the Ministry since May 18, 1966.

“It was only after we raised concerns that there was no cabinet Minister responsible for food that Wynne’s secret swearing in ceremony was discovered,” said Hardeman. “Premier Wynne clearly doesn’t understand that in rural Ontario, your word and the ability of people to trust you matters.”

Hardeman has written to Premier Wynne asking her to reveal the details of her private second swearing in ceremony which took place on Thursday, February 14 and to clarify whether she simply forgot to include food or whether she initially thought it wasn’t important enough to include.

“We understand the importance of Ontario food to our province, our economy and our health,” said Hardeman. “If Premier Wynne doesn’t understand that, then she should seriously reconsider her decision to serve as Minister of Agriculture and, now, Food.”

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.

“Perhaps more troubling than forgetting food was the fact that when a mistake occurred her first instinct was to cover it up and keep it a secret,” Hardeman said. “It’s the same reaction we saw from this government on e-health, ORNGE and gas plants.”

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