By Nathan Stevens
September 30, 2011
In just a few short days many Ontarians will be heading to the polls in order to cast their vote in this year’s provincial election. There are serious issues for rural Ontario as they head to the ballot box on election day. The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario has a number of issues that we feel need to be addressed by our future government.
The Christian Farmers strongly supports Environmental Goods and Services. We hope that our future government expands Alternative Land Use Services pilot projects in various regions of the province with various ecologies as the next step in establishing a long-term permanent program that recognizes and rewards the public goods provided by farmers.
The Christian Farmers believes that there are areas that our future government should focus on in terms of land use in the province. Further steps must be taken to limit urban expansion and the rezoning of agricultural land outside the greenbelt. The CFFO would like a commitment from our next government to disallow extraction of aggregates from our best farmland.
The interest in local food has exploded in the last number of years. The Christian Farmers wants our political parties to commit to exploring a variety of ways to increase the opportunity for this emerging market, from dedicated food belts to artisan opportunities to procurement policies for local institutions. Finally, government support for research into import replacement targeting the specific dietary preferences of our diverse ethnic community would greatly help farmers and consumers connect in a meaningful way.