From a Release
WOODSTOCK – Today, Ernie Hardeman, PC Candidate for Oxford, was joined by Ontario Federation of Agriculture president Mark Wales, as Hardeman signed onto the OFA campaign “believe in growing Ontario”.
“I’m pleased to sign onto this campaign to show my support for growing Ontario’s agriculture industry,” said Hardeman. “The Ontario PC Party agrees that addressing these issues, particularly the increasing cost of energy, is necessary to ensure our farmers can succeed.”
Hardeman signed onto the campaign at Karnvilla Holstein farm whose hydro bills are now over $6,000 a month – double what they paid five years ago. The Ontario PC Caucus agriculture survey found that 97% of farmers said they have been impacted by increased hydro costs and 60.7% of those said the impact has been significant. Ontario’s hydro rates are now among the highest in North America.
The OFA “believe in growing Ontario” campaign focuses affordable energy, agri-skills training, property taxation and food literacy. Information on the campaign is available at GrowingOntario.ofa.on.ca.
“Last year I held roundtables on local food across the province and in every single one the need for more education was one of the biggest issues,” said Hardeman. “Clearly more needs to be done to improve food literacy and ensure that the next generation of farmers has the high-tech skills they need.”
Hardeman pointed out that as part of their white paper on Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Respect for Rural, the PC Caucus put forward a number of proposals to strengthen the agriculture industry which included addressing energy costs, food literacy and skills training.
“Agriculture contributes significantly to our economy and our ability to create jobs,” said Hardeman. “I want to commend the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for their work to ensure that the challenges facing our agriculture industry are part of this election campaign.”