GUELPH– Today, Leader Mike Schreiner announced the Ontario Greens’ Local Food & Farming Strategy for a more affordable and climate-ready province. Schreiner was joined virtually by Dr. Ralph Martin, sustainable food expert and former professor at the University of Guelph.
Under the strategy, Ontario Greens will:
- Immediately cancel all plans for Highway 413 which will pave over 2,000 acres of prime farmland and unleash sprawl on even more farmland
- Introduce a mandatory and enforceable Grocery Code of Conduct to clamp down on predatory pricing by powerful grocery chains and protect local farmers and consumers
- Permanently protect prime farmland, including a freeze on urban boundaries, to prevent prime farmland from being lost to non-agricultural use, such as urban sprawl, highways, and gravel mining
- Move class 1 and 2 soils from the Whitebelt to the Greenbelt
- Support local farmers, value-added on farm production, food hubs, wholesale markets, farmers markets, local processing facilities and local food supply chains
- Provide financial support for sustainable farmers to help local producers prepare for the future, including $1 billion for regenerative agriculture and environmental services, and $250 million to increase the Risk Management Program to improve financial security for farmers
“Doug Ford’s sprawl agenda is paving over the farmland that feeds us, putting Ontario’s food security at risk and threatening the province’s $50 billion food and farming sector that employs over 875,000 people,” Schreiner stated. “This will only make grocery bills even more expensive.”
Ontario is losing farmland at an alarming rate of 175 acres a day due to sprawl — that’s the equivalent of 5 family farms per week.
Farmers are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Climate-fuelled extreme weather like flooding, droughts, heatwaves and storms are presenting significant challenges for family farms across the province.
“As the climate emergency worsens, we have to support local food and farming,” Schreiner said. “Or life will get even more expensive and the economy will take a big hit. We desperately need to support local food and farmers so our grocery bills aren’t at the mercy of geopolitics and global supply chains.”
“Greens are the only party with new solutions to support local farmers, the agri-food economy, and address the skyrocketing price of groceries. We have the leadership to deliver on a more affordable, healthy, prosperous climate-ready Ontario.”