Grain Farmers of Ontario Chair Henry Van Ankum has issued a request to all grain farmers to stay away from the hastily called public forums on Neonicotinoid Regulation as they apply to pollinator health.
According to a letter issued Friday, Van Anhum says Grain Farmers of Ontario will participate in one consultation forum, around the proposed regulation to reduce neonicotinoid seed treatment use by 80%, being held this month specifically for the agricultural industry. At this venue, we will explain our numerous concerns around the proposed restriction and within the consultation document. Grain Farmers of Ontario will not participate in the government’s public consultation meetings being held in London, Toronto, and Kingston. We advise farmer members to refrain from participation at these venues as well. Grain Farmers of Ontario does not feel that a public forum provides an opportunity for professional and reasonable discussion on this complex issue.
As farmers and primary stakeholders in this regulation, it is not appropriate for the government to receive our input in public forums – our input is far too important to be diluted at urban venues by non-stakeholders. We have been advised by the government that the goal of the consultation process is not to achieve the greatest number of attendees, but rather to hear informed and insightful responses. Grain Farmers of Ontario will provide a fulsome, professional response at the consultation forum for the agricultural industry.
The first public meeting is slated for Tuesday, December 9th in London at 1 p.m. at a location to be announced. Pre-registration was a requirement to make a presentation.