VIDEO: Jim Speaks to Concerns Heard at Agricultural Roundtable
(February 18, 2014) Over 70 farmers and agribusinesses brought their message to the Elmvale Legion last week, where Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson held a roundtable discussion to talk about issues and challenges impacting the industry. Today Wilson took to the floor of the Ontario Legislature to make the government aware of some of the concerns discussed.
Here are his remarks from Hansard.
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO
Tuesday 18 February 2014
Mr. Jim Wilson: Today I rise to speak of issues I heard at the agricultural round table in my riding last week. Over 80 people participated in what turned into a town hall type of discussion. The feeling in the room was both friendly and frustrating.
There were various issues discussed at the meeting. Roughly half of the comments revolved around this government’s approval of non-agricultural projects on prime agricultural land, including, for example, wind and solar projects in my riding, as well as residential and estate-type developments. Two specific projects that people are upset about are the Midhurst secondary plan and the proposed Aria solar farm in Springwater Township.
Another issue discussed was the escalating price of hydro and the fact that farmers literally can no longer afford to pay their energy bills.
Several people spoke to me about this government’s outrageous proposal for a 10-cent-per-litre hike on the gas tax so that the Liberals can build subways in Toronto. It was noted that Premier Wynne must really think of people in Ontario as endless revenue tools.
We heard from people in the horse racing sector who are angry with this government’s decimation of what once was a prosperous industry. It was noted that the horse industry as a whole is half of what it was before the Liberals arbitrarily decided to cancel the Slots at Racetracks Program.
We heard from farmers concerned over regulation and obtrusive red tape. One meat processor spoke about being asked to provide the same paperwork over and over, creating a never-ending cycle of unnecessary intrusions into his daily livelihood.
Clearly, the people of my riding, and the farmers in particular, are very disappointed with this government and they want change.