NEW LISKEARD – While farmers and employees need more protection to deal with the Covid-19 crisis, the Ford Conservatives must do more to reverse their damage to the agriculture sector said John Vanthof, NDP Deputy Leader and Agriculture critic.
Vanthof responded to an announcement by the Ontario government on provincial abattoirs and access to protective equipment for workers.
“New Democrats support any help for farmers and workers who need it today during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Vanthof, “However, today’s announcement is not nearly close enough to reverse the damage done by the Ford government to the agriculture sector and to stabilize Ontario’s food sector during this crisis.”
The Ford Conservatives broke their promise to increase the Risk Management cap for farmers and cut millions from programs meant to help farmers grow crops and livestock. Ford cut planned spending on Risk Management Programs by $160 million and it cut $2.3 million from Agricorp.
Vanthof said the livestock sector in Ontario is in crisis because of federally inspected plant closures.
“It would appear that today’s announcement by the Ford government is an attempt to draw attention away from the damage it has done to Ontario’s agriculture sector, and its refusal to fix it,” said Vanthof.
“Farmers have done their part in keeping our food system running during this crisis, but they can’t keep managing all these risks by themselves. They need more risk management support, not less.
“Mr. Ford needs to listen to farmers and remove the Risk Management Program cap, now.”