Provincial agriculture minister ready for round two

Progressive Conservative Lisa Thompson makes acceptance speech after being re-elected as MPP for Huron-Bruce on June 2, 2022. (Image by Fiona Robertson)

The MPP for Huron-Bruce is ready to tackle her second stint as the province’s agriculture minister.

Lisa Thompson was sworn into cabinet last Friday and is looking forward to working with agriculture organizations to improve Ontario’s processing capacity.

“So we are going to take a look at processing and how we can encourage investments in meat processing through to value added in other crop productions,” said Thompson.

By increasing the province’s ability to produce products, Thompson says it will have a ripple affect.

“By bringing things back home as opposed to shipping outside of Ontario, you know, we are reducing the transportation costs, we’re reducing the instability that we experienced through the pandemic.”

But building processing capacity is going to take some investment.

“Enabling a stronger structure based on made in Ontario solutions,” added Thompson. “And that’s going to include capitalizing on new technology and innovation as well. I look forward to working with our commodity organization and general farm organizations to do just that.”

Infrastructure was another key piece of the PC budget put forward before the election was called and that isn’t going to change.

Locally, Thompson says there have been many projects completed or announced and she wants to make sure that trend continues.

She uses examples of bridge work near Exeter, road work between Tiverton and Port Elgin, long term care investments in Goderich and Wingham and a new high school for Kincardine.

“And one of my number one thing to do, coming into our second mandate, will be to meet with each and every mayor just to review the last four years and identify what priorities need to be on a municipality by municipality basis,” said Thompson.

Thompson also has a number of other things to follow up on in her role as provincial agriculture minister.

That includes future meetings in July with her provincial, territorial and federal counterparts to discuss the state of the agriculture across the country.

Topics at those meetings will include financial support for farmers, as well as processing and innovation.