Paths to Prosperity: Respect for Rural Ontario
(March 12, 2013) Ontario can lead Canada in job creation again, but for that to happen, the vital role of agriculture to our whole economy can no longer be ignored by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson said today.
Wilson made the comments following the launch of the latest Paths to Prosperity discussion paper, Respect for Rural Ontario – the 12th white paper on strengthening our economy.
“Agriculture supports our province’s overall economy,” Wilson said. “It’s an engine that creates jobs in every corner of the province, from our farms in rural communities to our processing plants in big cities.
“Yet over the past decade, the Liberals have made deliberate decisions that have damaged our agriculture industry,” Wilson said. “Every day we see farmers and agribusinesses struggle because of high taxes, skyrocketing energy rates and a thicket of red tape.”
Respect for Rural Ontario offers bold, confident ideas to repair the damage and make the province’s agriculture industry world leaders again in innovation and production. For example, an Ontario PC government would attract good jobs and investments to the province by:
• Growing the market for biodiesel by requiring all diesel sold in Ontario to have two per cent biodiesel.
• Reducing the regulatory burden by a minimum of 33 per cent over three years and creating one-window access to government for farmers.
• Reducing the risk for farmers by putting all Risk Management Program premiums – farmers’ and government’s – into a dedicated fund to even out good and bad years.
Wilson said the only thing standing in the way of progress to create new jobs supporting agriculture is a government that treats farming as “out of sight, out of mind”.
“The Liberals seem to think farming is a quaint past-time of the 19th century,” Wilson concluded. “What they’ve failed to understand is that modern, sophisticated farming drives job creation in every corner of Ontario.
“And only the Ontario PCs have a plan to build on the role of agriculture in a strong economy for all of us.”