NDP Ag critic John Vanthof May 7 2015 (Photo by Simon Crouch)

Ontario NDP Ag And Food Critic Says Government Is Jeopardizing Future Of Farmers

Ontario NDP agriculture and food critic, John Vanthof, says the provincial government needs to stop jeopardizing the future of Ontario farmers.

He spoke during yesterday’s question period, after the Liberal government stepped into negotiations between vegetable growers and processors last Friday and dissolved the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Board.

Vanthof notes the once elected board now has a Trustee who answers to Premier Kathleen Wynne.

“The are a dually elected board. They represent their member, they hold annual meetings. I checked their auditor report and it was clean,” said Vanthof.

“These negotiations can sometimes be tough, as all negotiations are, and sometimes they end up in arbitration, as often negotiations do. That’s the spirit of negotiations. But what happened on Friday, is that in the best interests of a sector that’s vital to the Ontario agriculture economy?”

The ag critic added he’s been getting emails from farmers wondering where they fit, as their voices appear to have been taken away.

He also pointed out that last Friday a public meeting was held but questions from the floor weren’t allowed, only written ones were.