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Clarksburg or America? Minister needs to get her bins straight

(April 15, 2010) Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson went to bat for local businessman John Finch.  The proprietor of Finch Haven Orchards in Clarksburg is asking the government to level the playing field when it comes to subsidizing locally made wooden harvest bins for apples.  Wilson took his concerns to the floor of the Legislature today during Question Period.

Under current Liberal policies, the government is subsidizing 50% of the purchase price of new American made, petroleum based plastic harvest bins for apples, but they refuse to promote Canadian made, wooden harvest bins, such as those made in Clarksburg.

Wilson calls the policy ridiculous, especially given the fact that wooden apple bins have been used for centuries.  “You’re driving fellows like John Finch in Clarksburg out of business,” Wilson told the Agriculture Minister.  “He makes wooden apple bins. Farmers won’t buy the bins anymore because you’re subsidizing by 50% the American-made plastic bins.”

If there is going to be a subsidy then Wilson says it shouldn’t solely favour new American-made plastic bins.  “Ontario taxpayers are subsidizing American businesses while Ontario businesses are left in the cold,” said Wilson.  In Question Period, Wilson asked the Minister: “Is this what you and the Premier mean by Open Ontario, that it’s open to Americans but closed to Ontario businesses?

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