PC Caucus Pushes for Business Risk Management Program
(June 2, 2010) Today in the Ontario Legislature, Progressive Conservative MPP Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey) and Agriculture Critic Ernie Hardeman (Oxford) called on the McGuinty government to support a PC Resolution that calls for the implementation of a business risk management program for farmers."In a letter to MPPs yesterday, the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Coalition told members of this House that 'the economic situation facing Ontario farmers is dire,'" said Wilson in his question to the Agriculture Minister. "Agriculture income was negative $50 million in 2009, a loss that is projected to be ten times greater - at a half a billion dollars - in 2010. In their letter, they say that 'the future of food and farming in Ontario, without a workable risk management program, is clearly bleak.'
At approximately 2:15 on Thursday, June 3rd, the Ontario Legislature will debate a Resolution put forward by Wilson that would push the government to put in place a risk management program in time for the 2009 production year, regardless of any other level of government.
"Minister, you haven't budgeted a single dime to implement the program this year", said Hardeman in his supplementary question. "In fact according to the Ministry's own estimates you have actually cut more than $144 million from the program that provides direct support for farmers."
Hardeman pointed out that the 2010-11 ministry estimates documents show that business risk management transfers, which funds support programs for farmers, was cut by $144,907,900 to $180,507,800. In 2009-2010 the government allocated $325,415,700 for business risk management transfers.
Wilson and Hardeman are urging all members of the Legislature to show their support for Ontario's farmers by passing Wilson's Resolution on Thursday.