VIDEO: Wilson’s Christmas Tree Day Legislation Passes!
(June 2, 2015) Today in the Ontario Legislature, with the support of all MPPs, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson's legislation, Christmas Tree Day Act, 2014 passed third and final reading and became law after receiving royal assent immediately following the proceedings.
"This is a great day for an important rural industry," said Wilson. "There are 674 Christmas tree farms in Ontario that bring tremendous economic and environmental benefit to our province, and I could not be more pleased that they have been recognized here today."
"I want to thank MPPs from all sides of the House for supporting the legislation, along with Fred Somerville, owner of Somerville Nurseries in Everett and President of the Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario for the inspiration behind the bill," continued Wilson.
Wilson's legislation designates the first Saturday in December of each year as Christmas Tree Day in Ontario. It recognizes an industry that employs thousands of workers in farming, transportation and retail sectors and produces more than one million fresh, farm-grown Christmas trees for purchase each year with the same number of seedlings planted in annual harvests. The industry also brings vast environmental benefits to our province including the removal of 13 tons of airborne pollutants per acre per year, as well as, creates a protective haven for a variety of bird and mammal species.
Wilson also noted that the United States has similarly recognized the huge value of the Christmas tree industry by designating the entire first week of December as National Christmas Tree Week.
Shirley Brennan, Executive Director of Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario, provided the following statement following the passage of the legislation, "Our industry works very hard all year long to help create memories for families. However we affect so much more like the agriculture, tourism, environmental, employment sectors. We are pleased to have Ontario as the first province in Canada to declare Christmas Tree Day. Thank you to Mr. Wilson and everyone who was involved in this bill."