CHATHAM-KENT, ON — Green Party of Ontario Leader and MPP for Guelph, Mike Schreiner, issued the following statement on the day of the 2018 International Plowing Match:
“I am thrilled to be attending my eighth plowing match as Green Party Leader and first as MPP. As someone who grew up on a farm, I am so excited to take my love and passion for Ontario food and farming to Queen’s Park and to promote Ontario food and agricultural products to the world.
I am the first and only political leader to sign the Food and Water First Pledge to protect prime farmland and source water regions, an initiative that was started by farm organizations. I urge Premier Ford, Andrea Horwath and John Fraser to do the same and show a real commitment to local food and farmers.
Across Ontario, the food and farming sector contributes $37.6 billion to Ontario’s GDP and employs more than 807,000 people. And the asset base that generates that wealth is in our soils. So I will be asking the government to stand with me and put forward a program to protect healthy soils.
I am also going to stand up with my conservative colleague, Toby Barrett, who has put forward a private member’s bill to support the ALUS program to pay farmers for environmental goods and services that benefit everyone in this province.
I am also proud of all the research and innovation taking place across Ontario to support farm families, particularly at the University of Guelph. It is essential that we create new revenue streams to increase profitability on farms, and this is something I will be working hard for at the Ontario Legislature.
As MPP for Guelph, I am committed to being a champion for sustainable local food production and a defender of the farmers, land and soil that feed our communities and cities.