The weather and the provincial election campaign are heating up in Ontario. With just over two weeks to go before the vote, party leaders are looking to rural Ontario — and the agriculture and food sector — for votes to win power in Ontario’s fractured and dysfunctional political landscape.

Can Premier Kathleen Wynne relegate the McGuinty years to memory and win a new term for the Liberals? Will Tim Hudak brush off the 2011 election defeat, broaden his appeal and win the day for the Progressive Conservatives? Can New Democratic Party leader Andrea Horwath define her agenda and play spoiler or will the NDP again play kingmaker?

Beginning today,’s Bernard Tobin brings us a series of podcast interviews with representatives from Ontario agriculture, food and rural sectors. We’ll talk issues, learn what the farm and food lobby are seeking from the politicians and look for insights on the questions farmers need to be asking party leaders and local candidates.

We kick things off with Mark Wales, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture who says competitively priced energy and increased food literacy are top priorities for farmers.

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