Ontario farm groups are welcoming Lisa Thompson’s reappointment as the province’s Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.
The MPP for Huron-Bruce is returning to the post she has held in Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet since June 2021, when she replaced Ernie Hardeman.
“We are excited to continue the momentum of our positive and established relationship with Minister Thompson, advocating for our farmer-members and the growth of our $18 billion industry,” said Brendan Byrne, Essex County farmer and chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO), following the cabinet swearing-in ceremony on Friday. “Minister Thompson carries a great passion for the agriculture sector and understands what rural communities and farmers need to thrive and the critical contributions our farmer-members make to food security and provincial economic growth.”
Her reappointment means there will be familiarity and continuity regarding Ontario’s presence in the federal/provincial/territorial negotiations on the next Canadian agricultural policy framework (APF), with agriculture ministers from across the country hoping to finalize the next five-year agreement in Saskatoon next month.
In addition to resolving issues around federal fertilizer sanctions, GFO is looking forward to working with Thompson on “an improved Ontario Risk Management program, as well as a properly funded APF agreement that includes a Business Risk Management program that is focused on risk management that grain farmers can rely on,” noted GFO CEO Crosby Devitt.
David Piccini was reappointed Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, while Todd Smith was also reappointed as Minister of Energy, Monte McNaughton as Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, and Caroline Mulroney remains Minister of Transportation.
“We are pleased to see Ministers reappointed in many portfolios critical to agriculture and we welcome the opportunity to continue to strengthen our relationships with them as we work to tackle key challenges that face farmers and rural communities,” said Peggy Brekveld, Thunder Bay-area farmer and President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “Climate change, supply chain resilience and preservation of local food production capacity are issues that matter to all Ontarians, whether rural or urban, and we are keen to see continued dialogue with the provincial government as we collectively work towards finding solutions.”
The provincial legislative assembly is scheduled to resume sitting on September 12.