Schreiner challenges Wynne, Brown, and Horwath to protect food and water
Finch, ON - If the leaders of the Liberal, PC and NDP parties support local food and farmers, they need to pledge to permanently protect prime farmland, says GPO leader Mike Schreiner.
Schreiner, in Finch for the 2015 International Plowing Match, is reissuing his challenge to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Andrea Horwath and Patrick Brown to sign the Food & Water First Pledge.
“We can’t eat subdivisions, quarries, highways or pipelines,” says Schreiner. “Each of the party leaders say they like farmers. Yet, the land they farm is disappearing at a rate of 350 acres per day.”
Only 5 per cent of Ontario’s land mass is suitable for growing food and even less -- just 0.5% -- is prime farmland. The rate of farmland loss is actually increasing, and Ontario now faces an annual loss of farmland equal to the size of Toronto.
Losing farmland threatens our ability to feed ourselves and hurts Ontario’s economy. The food and farming sector employs more than 740,000 people and contributes more than $30 billion to Ontario's economy.
“Every day prime farmland is threatened by development, such as the proposed mega development in Midhurst,” adds Schreiner. “A country that can’t feed itself is as insecure as a country that can’t defend itself. I will continue to fight for policies that support profitable family farms and protect prime farmland.”
The Food & Water First campaign is a citizen led effort inspired by the anti-mega-quarry campaign in Melancthon Township. The goal is to change provincial law so that Class 1 farmland -- the most fertile land -- and source water regions are protected in Ontario.
Schreiner is the first and only political party leader in Ontario to sign the Food and Water First pledge.
For more information on Food & Water First: http://foodandwaterfirst.com/