New Democrat agriculture plan puts family farms first: Horwath
A New Democrat government would bring change that puts farmers and their families first, says Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
“Too many families in rural Ontario are feeling squeezed by a government that doesn’t seem to listen. It’s time for change that works for rural and farm families,” said Horwath. “Farmers work all hours to put fresh, nutritious food on our dinner tables and go beyond the call of duty to build a green, prosperous province. We need to start walking the walk when it comes to supporting farmers and their families.”
Joined by NDP candidate Taras Natyshak, Horwath unveiled Change that Works for Rural Ontario at the farm of George and Flo Dekker.
Horwath said the agriculture platform is aimed at ensuring a bright future for rural Ontario. “We can send a message to young people that they have a future in farming by protecting rural schools, providing more doctors, connecting high-speed internet and investing in apprenticeships to open gateways to sustainable careers,” said Horwath.
Key commitments in the agriculture platform include:
- Introduce legislation to ensure that public money spent on local produce is sourced from Ontario farmers.
- Fund the planned expansion of the risk management program to include cattle, sheep, pork and veal, and horticulture.
- Review of regulatory barriers that put Ontario farmers at a competitive disadvantage.
- Forgive the debt of 200 graduating medical students who go to work in the underserviced communities of rural Ontario.
- Work with the LCBO to guarantee more shelf space to independently-produced Ontario wines and increase the Ontario grape content in “cellared in Canada” wines to support Ontario wineries.
- Rural employers will be eligible for our training tax credit to help them invest in Ontario agricultural workers.