May 20th, 2020

Doug Ford must stop delaying and step up for Ontario farmers and food security now: Vanthof

QUEEN’S PARK - Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, NDP Deputy Leader John Vanthof said that Doug Ford needs to listen to Ontario farmers who are facing the Covid-19 crisis alone, and take decisive action now to protect Ontario’s food supply.

In his member’s statement, John Vanthof, MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane, said Ford has just one thing to do, rip the cap off the Risk Management Program, now.

“COVID 19 has turned the world upside down for Ontario's farmers. Some of the markets for their products have disappeared while for others prices have plunged. Their future and our food security is at stake.

The federal government has announced some programs but everyone recognizes that more needs to be done.

Ontario has several programs that could be used to help. The Risk Management Program was created to help farmers through market crisis. It was bankable and predictable. The province agreed to fund 40 per cent of the cost. The problem is that the Liberal government then capped the provincial contribution.

Both the NDP and the Conservatives promised to raise the cap in the last election campaign. Given the current crisis, the NDP is calling for the cap to be ripped off right now.

The NDP is not alone. The Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Pork Producers, Ontario Sheep Farmers, Ontario Veal, and the Grain Farmers of Ontario are all asking for the cap to be lifted.

We are in a pandemic and our food security could be at stake. What premier, are you waiting for?”