Making it Easier for Farmers to do Business
Joint Meeting Strengthens Regional Partnership to Support Ontario’s Agriculture Sector
TORONTO - Today, Ernie Hardeman, Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, met with André Lamontagne, Québec's Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, to discuss opportunities to enhance collaboration for the provinces' agriculture and food sectors.
The Ministers attended SIAL Canada, North America's largest food-innovation tradeshow, toured each other's provincial pavilions and discussed shared priorities, including emergency management, red tape reduction, risk management programs and trade.
"Provinces are working hard to make sure agri-food businesses aren't spending unnecessary time tied up with red tape," said Hardeman. "Our government's multi-year Open for Business Action Plan is tackling the red tape that's driving jobs and investment out of the province; the federal government needs to do the same."
"The purpose of the Politique bioalimentaire 2018-2025 - Alimenter notre monde is to better meet consumer expectations and support agri-businesses more effectively," said Lamontagne. "Since I took office as the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, I have seen the obstacles that our system puts in the way of farmers. In several regions, the scarcity of labour and the red tape involved in hiring foreign workers jeopardize businesses' prosperity. The federal government must promptly propose solutions to these problems that hinder all of the agri-food industry."
The Ministers recognized the importance of shared responsibility for plant and animal health emergency management and agreed to press the federal government to ensure it is prepared to respond to emerging threats.
Ministers Hardeman and Lamontagne further agreed to explore areas of collaboration to grow the agriculture and food sectors of both provinces, domestically and internationally. This includes pressing the federal government to follow through on their promise of full and fair compensation to mitigate the impacts of CUSMA on the supply managed sector.
- Ontario and Québec form the largest economic region of Canada, with 22.7 million Canadians (61 percent of Canada’s population). Together, the two provinces are responsible for approximately 56 per cent of Canada's total GDP.
- As major contributors to Canada’s GDP for food and beverage processing, Ontario and Québec account for 66% or 20.8 billion, and 37% of the primary agriculture GDP in Canada, at $8.2 billion.
- Together, Ontario and Québec account for 36 per cent of Canada's farm cash receipts (gross farm income) from primary agricultural production and more than half of food and beverage processing revenues in Canada.
- On April 2, the Ontario legislature passed the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act. The Act will reduce regulatory burdens in 12 sectors (including agriculture), helping job creators thrive, create and keep good jobs.