Green Party will invest $100 million to reward farmers for protecting our water and natural heritage

Green Party will invest $100 million to reward farmers for protecting our water and natural heritage

Simcoe County, Ontario – Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner announced that his party’s plan to reward farmers for protecting our water and natural heritage, by expanding Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) programs across the province.

“Farmers are in a unique position to create environmental solutions through their decisions about how to use their land,” said Schreiner, who himself was raised on a farm. “Government should start viewing farmers as partners in delivering environmental solutions.”

Programs that pay farms for environmental goods and services exist in most developed countries. The Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program is an example of a grassroots, farmer-driven, solutions-oriented approach to environmental issues in agriculture. Successful ALUS projects exist in Manitoba and in Ontario’s Norfolk County.

“The efforts by our Ontario farmers provide benefits that improve public health, strengthen local economies and responsibly manage Ontario’s natural resources and natural capital,” added Schreiner. “It’s time that government works with farmers to offset the cost of good stewardship practices that benefit all Ontarians.”

The Green Party believes it is time to expand the ALUS concept in Ontario by expanding projects across the province. The plan would recognize and reward farmers for their stewardship of clean air and water, biodiversity, endangered species and habitat preservation, and carbon storage.

“The old parties at Queen’s Park have failed to provide solutions that work for Ontario Farmers which has led to fewer local farmers and the closure of local food processing plants,” concluded Schreiner. “Only the Green Party has called for a comprehensive Ontario Food and Farming Strategy that includes an expansion of ALUS programs.”

As part of the Food and Farming Strategy the ALUS program will be designed to help protect Ontario farms and local food processors so that they can continue to provide healthy food, strengthen local economies and improve environmental sustainability.

Your Green MPPs will:

· Invest $100 million over four years in expanding the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program to reward farmers for good stewardship practices and compensate them for the public benefits of the environmental goods and services that they provide, including promoting biodiversity, preserving habitat and wildlife, storing carbon and ensuring clean water.

· Continue provincial funding for the Environmental Farm Plan
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Media Contact:

Rebecca Harrison

Director of Communications
Green Party of Ontario
(c) 905-999-5479
(e) rebeccaharrison@gpo.ca