TORONTO — MPP for Guelph Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to news that the government is investing $9.5 million over the next three years towards soil data mapping and soil evaluation and monitoring.
“It’s ironic that this government is spending millions of dollars to monitor soil health while simultaneously planning to pave over some of the best soil in North America.
In Ontario, we are losing 320 acres of farmland per day. So how does this government expect to increase our province’s food production by 30 percent over the next decade while paving over the farmland that feeds us?
The government’s sprawl-at-all-costs agenda is paving over farmland at an unsustainable rate, threatening our food security and our $50 billion food and farming sector that employs over 875,000 people.
And their refusal to take serious action on the climate crisis means that climate-fuelled extreme weather is only getting worse, presenting significant challenges for family farms across the province.
The result? Food costs continue to rise, and farmers are struggling.
Although funding for better soil mapping, evaluation and monitoring is welcome, it will not protect the precious farmland that is being paved over by the Ford government’s expensive sprawl agenda.
I am calling on the government to strengthen Ontario’s food and farming sector by:
- Permanently protecting prime farmland, including a freeze on urban boundaries, to prevent the best farmland from being lost to non-agricultural use, such as urban sprawl, highways, and gravel mining;
- Immediately cancelling all plans for Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass;
- Supporting local farmers, value-added on farm production, food hubs, wholesale markets, farmers’ markets, local processing facilities and local food supply chains; and
- Providing financial support for farmers to help local producers prepare for the future, including $1 billion for regenerative agriculture and environmental services, and $250 million to increase the Risk Management Program to improve financial security for farmers.”