Schreiner challenges Wynne, Hudak and Horwath to put Food & Water First

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For Immediate ReleaseMay 8, 2013
 
Orangeville, ON – Mike Schreiner, leader of the Green Party of Ontario, issued a challenge to Kathleen Wynne, Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath to put food and water first.www.foodandwaterfirst.com
 
Schreiner joined Food & Water First Chair Carl Cosack and local candidate Paula Conning today to become the first provincial party leader to sign the Food & Water First pledge.
 
“Farmers and farmland will become an endangered species in Ontario if we don’t protect the land that sustains us,” said Schreiner. “We’re losing farmland each year equivalent to an area larger than Toronto. This is unsustainable – it threatens our health, local food security, and our economy.”
 
“I challenge all political parties to protect Ontario’s prime farmland and water resources by signing the Food and Water First pledge,” said Schreiner. “It is critical that we preserve these resources in a way that sustains us now and into the future.”
 
The Food & Water First campaign is a citizen led effort inspired by the anti-mega quarry campaign. The goal is to have provincial law changed so that Class 1 farmland — the most fertile land — is protected in Ontario. Only 5 per cent of Ontario’s land mass is suitable for growing food and even less — just 0.5% — is prime farmland.
 
“Our successful campaign to stop the mega-quarry highlighted that we need changes in legislation so that prime farmland is preserved and source water regions are protected,” said Cosack. “The Food & Water First campaign makes sure these changes happen. We are grateful to have municipalities, the OFA, agriculture dependent businesses, Bay St. financiers and now the Green Party for joining our campaign. We look forward to the other parties joining us as well.”
 
The food and farming sector is now the largest employer in Ontario. Over 717,000 people are employed in food and farming. The sector contributes over $67 billion to Ontario’s economy.
 
“It is time for our government to take action to protect local food and water,” said Paula Conning, GPO candidate in Dufferin- Caledon. “We need to update our laws so that we can responsibly manage competition for finite resources — water, farmland, aggregates. It is important for the health of our economy, environment and communities.”
 
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More information on the Food & Water first campaign can be found at http://foodandwaterfirst.com/