Minister Hardeman met with local farmers to discuss a new farm trespassing bill

Ontario Minister of Agriculture Ernie Hardeman (front left) and Bruce Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker with Farmers in Chesley. Photo by Kirk Scott.

Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs stopped in our area to explain details around a new bill meant to protect food and farm animals.

Ernie Hardeman met with farmers at a venue in Chesley. Hardeman says Bill 156 is meant to deter trespassers like animal rights activists from unauthorized entry to farms or interfering with transportation. He says such interference can compromise food safety and producers.

“We have a responsibility to make sure that we do everything that we can to make sure that we have the safest food in the world and also to make sure that we provide the highest protection for our livestock and our farmers that are producing that safe food,” said Hardeman.

Anyone convicted under the act would face of fine of $15,000 for the first offence and $25,000 for any subsequent offence.

Hardeman says farmers are mostly fully in support of the act. A final vote on the legislation has yet to be taken.