Recent events affecting Ontario agr posted here and elsewhere makes one question just where this industry is headed and what it will look like in a decade. One thing for certain is that despite ad nauseum "consultations" over the past decade, current federal and provincial agr policy is certainly inadequate to deal with the multiple stresses affecting us. Compounding this reality is a complete lack of vision or leadership at the highest decision making levels at both levels of government. Whether tobacco, viniculture, processing vegetable, beef, hog, grains and oilseeds, and now tender fruit the current reality is anything but stable or rosy towards the future. Please forgive my cynicsm but what type of industry do members here envision?
I have witnessed the complete dismantling of our tobacco industry in favour of buying another year or two of peace with our natives. This was an easy fait accompli helped along by a ignorant public buying into the anti smoking rhetoric. I farm in the immediate vicinty of a number of smoke shacks...there is definitely no reduction amongst our teenagers over the years!
A government monopoly over all alcohol sales in the province and still we have 70% foreign juice blends sold in the Canadian section. Makes a mockery of the public dollars spent on Local Food and Foodland Ontario initiatives, no?
Ontario becoming a dumping ground for PQ hogs with narry a peep from our Agr Minister while the Premier gushes about his new trade agreement with Quebec is shameful. Ontario corn farmers can empathize with dumped product.
Etc. etc. But how did we allow ourselves to get here? Have we become that marginalized by society? What will it take to bring us back and restore our pride in this industry? What, and who, will be leading this industry in a decade? I have my ideas, what are yours?