Huron-Bruce candidates discuss challenges facing farmers

Huron-Bruce all candidates debate Thursday, Oct. 10th in Holmesville (photo by Bob Montgomery)

Over 100 people attended Thursday night’s all-candidates meeting in Holmesville, hosted by the Huron County Federation of Agriculture.

Conservative candidate and current MP for the riding, Ben Lobb, said he believes trade and labour are the two biggest issues facing Canadian farmers today.

“We have many issues with trade right now with China and obviously with the United States that need to be fixed and they need to be fixed very quickly so that we don’t negatively impact our farmers here in Ontario, but also across the country, certainly in Western Canada with canola,” he said.

Liberal candidate Allan Thompson said one of the biggest problems is getting products for foreign markets.

“We’ve made a lot of progress. We have major trade agreements now. Canada is the only country in the G-7 that has these trade agreements in place with every other country in the G-7. I think farmers need their government to really go to bat for them in reaching those markets abroad,” said Thompson

NDP candidate Tony McQuail said the biggest challenge for farmers is adapting to climate change.

“Maintaining and improving the soil resource phase so that we’re much better able to withstand both flooding and drought, which may be part of our future and also become part of the carbon sequestration story by increasing soil organic matter,” he said.

Green Party candidate Nicholas Wendler said his party would replace one-third of Canada’s imports with domestic products and the Green Party would invest more money into rail to improve transportation infrastructure.

All four candidates agreed that laws to protect farmers from trespassers are already in place, but they have to be enforced.

People’s Party candidate Kevin Klerks was absent from the Holmesville meeting.