Ontario's NDP

Ontario's NDP

September 18, 2007 10:30 ET

Rural Families and Communities Deserve a Fair Deal: Hampton

CROSBY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 18, 2007) - Ontario NDP Leader Howard Hampton used the 2007 Leeds-Grenville International Plowing Match and Country Festival to draw attention to the plight of many farmers and rural families struggling to make ends meet across the province. Putting forward the NDP's Grow Ontario plan, Hampton said farm families deserve a fair opportunity to make a decent living and get ahead.

"Grow Ontario would be a major improvement over Dalton McGuinty's out of touch policies like cutting provincial agriculture spending in real dollars by 10 per cent; raising hydro rates through the roof; and dithering instead of proposing solutions to the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization mess," said Hampton. "It also fills the void left when McGuinty gave himself a $40,000 raise, but failed to do anything to help farm families who are working to save their livelihoods and provide a decent future for their children."

The NDP Grow Ontario plan calls for a risk management strategy, developed by Ontario farmers, that guarantees farmers a reliable, bankable level of income, year after year, even if the federal government refuses to provide funding. It must be based on a cost of production formula, with production averages and input costs taken at a county level.

"Ontario's grains and oilseeds farmers needed a risk management program four years ago when commodity prices started to drop. McGuinty promised to develop farm safety nets, but he waited until just before this election to discover the crisis," Hampton said.

"Given the depth of the financial hardship many farmers are facing today, we must be ready to fund our own risk management program. We need to take the politics out of meeting the costs of production. Too often the McGuinty Liberals have made it more costly for farm families, like when he broke his promise to freeze hydro rates."

The NDP Grow Ontario plan will also help farm families tap into markets for healthy, locally grown food by launching a major expansion of Foodland Ontario retail outlets and guaranteeing shelf space for Ontario produce in Ontario supermarkets.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Ontario's NDP
    Jon Weier
    (416) 591-5455 x 290
    or
    Ontario's NDP
    Kaj Hasselriis
    (416) 591-5455 x 271