The Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, Mike Schreiner, made the following statement on Agriculture week in Ontario:
“I love Ontario food and farmers.
This week we are celebrating Agriculture Week here in Ontario. And I encourage everyone to enjoy the fall harvest with family and friends by serving up a table full of local food for Thanksgiving.
Be sure to thank your local farmers.
As the only provincial party leader to sign the Food and Water First pledge, I will push to protect our farmland, while supporting Ontario’s farmers and food industry.
Local sustainable food and farmers play a key role in the health, economy and environment of Ontario.
The food and farming sector is Ontario’s largest employer with more than 740,000 jobs that contribute more than $40 billion to Ontario’s economy. Eating fresh, local food plays a critical role in promoting your health.
Local food also reduces greenhouse gas pollution and supports good stewardship of our land, water and air. According to Local Food Plus, if 10,000 people shift only $10 of their weekly groceries to local sustainable food, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a sum equal to taking 1,000 cars off the road. We’d also create 100 new jobs. If everyone in Ontario made the same shift to local sustainable food, we would pump enough money into the economy to create 136,000 jobs and reduce GHG pollution equal to 1.3 million cars!
This past election, we made sure that our priorities to support local food and farmers were clear. This week, as we celebrate Agriculture week in Ontario, we re-affirm our call for:
- Permanent protection of Ontario’s Class 1 farmland and source water regions
- Establishing a local food infrastructure fund made up of grants and loans that support Ontario businesses who invest in and operate local food processing facilities
- Regulatory and tax reforms that support local farmers and food businesses
We need to ensure that our political leadership delivers results for this thriving industry that makes such a positive contribution to our province. The Green Party of Ontario will continue to make supporting local sustainable food and farmers a top priority.”