Powell and Schreiner challenge Brown to protect food and water

Penetanguishene, ON – GPO leader Mike Schreiner and candidate Valerie Powell challenged PC leader Patrick Brown today to permanently protect prime farmland and source water in Ontario. 
“We can’t eat subdivisions, quarries, highways or pipelines,” says Schreiner. “Yet – to make way for them – prime farmland is disappearing at a rate of 350 acres per day.”
Schreiner is the first and only political party leader in Ontario to sign the Food and Water First Pledge to protect prime farmland and source water regions. Powell and Schreiner are challenging Mr. Brown to be the second. 
“Will Patrick Brown join me in pledging to protect prime farmland whose loss threatens our economy and food security?” asked Schreiner. “Greens are committed to supporting the 740,000 jobs in the food and farming sector. Are Conservatives?” 
Schreiner is in Simcoe North today with Powell touring Peter and Cheryl Stubbins’ organic community food garden. 
“Food and farming are an incredibly important part of Simcoe North’s economy and lifestyle,” explains Powell. “We don’t want our communities and livelihoods threatened by proposals such as the mega development in Midhurst.”
Powell has also signed the Food and Water First Pledge and urges all her fellow candidates to do the same. 
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. Only 5 per cent of Ontario’s land mass is suitable for growing food and even less — just 0.5% — is prime farmland.
Ontario loses approximately 126,000 acres of farmland each year to subdivisions, quarries, highways and other development.
For more information:
GPO provincial by-election candidate Valerie Powell: www.gpo.ca/valeriepowell
Food & Water First: http://foodandwaterfirst.com/