Premier to Attend Agriculture Ministers' Meeting
Ontario Government Supporting Province’s Agri-Food Industry
Premier Wynne is meeting with federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers in Halifax today to talk about the success of Ontario's agri-food industry, as well as the key challenges it faces.
In her role as Minister of Agriculture and Food, the Premier will raise concerns around pesticides and declining bee populations and the impact of US/Canada border control issues on supply management, among other issues. Jeff Leal, Minister of Rural Affairs, will also attend on behalf of the province.
The meeting will also provide an opportunity to ensure that national programs, such as Growing Forward 2 and food safety programs, continue to align with Ontario's priorities.
Supporting the province's successful agriculture, food and rural sectors is part of the Ontario government's plan to create jobs and grow the economy.
- Ontario’s agri-food industry contributes more than $34 billion to the province’s Gross Domestic Product and supports more than 710,000 jobs.
- The province’s investments in the food processing sector helped create and retain more than 7,300 jobs in 2011/12.
- Honey bees provide $171 million in annual pollination value to Ontario agriculture.
- Supply management helps to maintain a stable, quality supply of products for Ontario’s processers and consumers.
- Ontario’s 2013 budget supports the development of the next generation of bioproducts and the expansion of Ontario’s growing bioeconomy. The province’s domestic ethanol industry has already created over 300 skilled jobs in rural Ontario and generated over $635 million in capital investments.
“I’m really pleased to work with other agriculture ministers from across Canada in a national conversation about our agri-food industry. Working together on our common goals and challenges fosters both innovation and success. For example, we’ve introduced the Local Food Act, which, if passed, would promote food produced in Ontario by getting it into more schools, hospitals and neighbourhoods. If we take the same approach to supporting Canadian food, our national economy would benefit from quality food grown coast to coast.”
“Ontario’s rural communities are driven by the success of our local farmers and agri-businesses. I look forward to working collaboratively and bringing the unique insights of our industry to the national level.”