Minister's Statement On Supporting Agriculture Industry
July 8, 2011
Before I came to this week's meeting of Federal and Provincial Ministers of Agriculture, I met with many Ontario farmers, farm organizations, commodity groups, food processors and retailers from across the province. When they spoke to me, I heard two things loud and clear.
Ontario's agricultural leaders told me that we need our family farms to be strong, and for that they need the federal government to come to the table and participate in Ontario's new risk management program.
I also heard from farmers and agri-food industry members that in a time when many farms and farm businesses are just starting to recover from losses, we cannot cut support to programs like AgriStability, as is being proposed by the federal government.
We need to move things forward, not backwards.
These are the messages I brought forward to the FPT table. Ontario farmers are looking for predictable, bankable and stable programs that help our farmers manage risk.
Ontario farmers want the federal government to support Ontario's risk management program and the federal government said no. I did not sign on to this flawed agreement on future programs because Ontario farmers told me it would take us in the wrong direction and not provide our family farms what they need to continue to bring quality, locally-grown food to Ontario tables.
Our government is committed to risk management and supporting our farmers. We will continue to urge the federal government to reform the national support programs so that they better meet the needs of Ontario farmers.
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