Tag: Kathleen Wynne

What’s in it for Agriculture? The Liberal Budget Breakdown

The Ontario Liberals are spending big, but there’s not a whole lot in the 2017-18 provincial budget for agri-food and rural Ontario. The Liberals are going to balance the budget but they are going to spend more than $140 billion in this fiscal year and push the provincial debt over $300 billion. There’s big money… Read more »

Ontario Reveals First Balanced Liberal Budget in a Decade

Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government released its 2017-18 budget on April 27. The budget is the first balanced Liberal budget in a decade. However, the provincial debt now sits north of $300 billion with interest charges estimated at $12 billion annually. The $141 billion budget includes huge dollars for health care, some education tweaks, and 2,000… Read more »

Ontario Premier Announces Measures to Reduce Hydro Bills

In what may be called trying to clean up the mess she made, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced yesterday the “Fair Hydro Plan” which is designed to decrease the average residential hydro bill by 25% and cap bill increases for the next four years. As part of the announcement, Wynne says “Starting this summer, Ontario’s Fair… Read more »

Leal Remains Ag Minister in Ontario Cabinet Shuffle; Takes on Added Portfolio

Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, Jeff Leal, has kept his post in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet mini-shuffle announced today. In addition to remaining the agriculture minister, Leal was also named the minister “responsible for small business.” Today I was pleased to be named Minister Responsible for Small Business, in addition to serving… Read more »

Ontario Ag Minister Says It’s Back to Basics in 2017: Soil, Water, & Air

Don’t be surprised to see more hydro bill relief in sight in 2017 for rural Ontarians, says the province’s minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. In a year-end interview, Minister Jeff Leal said that although the province has started finding ways to reduce energy bills, “there’s more to do.” He said he “wouldn’t be… Read more »

Dairy Quality Wins Top Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Award

Dairy Quality Inc. and its mobile milk testing device was the big winner at Ontario’s 10th annual Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence. Premier Kathleen Wynne presented the Premier’s award – the province’s highest honour for outstanding contributions in innovation to the agri-food sector – to the Newmarket-based company. Its mobile testing device helps dairy farmers… Read more »

Ontario Ag Minister’s Marching Orders are Heavy on the Environment

Ontario’s focus on the environmental side of farming has just been underlined and intensified, even more. With the midpoint mandate of her provincial government having been reached, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne put pen to paper last week to help guide both new and established ministers on the next part of their journey. Her mission was… Read more »

Poll: What Should Happen to Ease Hydro Costs?

Farmers and rural residents are fed up with sky-rocketing hydro electricity costs, and they’re done being polite about it. This week at the International Plowing Match, the agriculture and rural community let Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government know — very vocally — just what they thought of a proposed HST cut to ease hydro… Read more »

Here’s What’s Needed to Meet the Premier’s Challenge, Say Experts

The eight experts who comprise the province’s Agri-Food Growth Steering Committee, tasked last fall with developing recommendations to address Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s jobs-and-exports challenge, have spoken. And what they had to say in a two-page letter full of advice to agriculture and agri-food minister Jeff Leal could have a profound effect on the agri-food… Read more »

Ontario Premier Hands Out Awards for Agri-Food Innovation

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne handed out the top five Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence at Queen’s Park on Wednesday. The annual awards recognize producers, processors, organizations and rural communities who help support a sustainable environment, create jobs and boost Ontario’s economy. The recipients were recognized at the 2015 Premier’s Summit on Agri-Food. They were also among 50… Read more »

This Post Should be About Thresholds, But No One Will Answer my Questions

It’s not often that I can’t find the answers I need. After all, growing crops and sharing information about growing crops is the part of this job I love the most (hello, total agronomy geek up in here!). I’m always willing to dig deep to get the answers farmers need. So it’s difficult for me… Read more »

Premier Wynne Suggests Canada Should Give the U.S. More Time to Fix COOL — Say What?

When Canada’s agriculture and trade ministers — as everybody expected following the World Trade Organization’s latest ruling against U.S. country of origin labeling — promised to retaliate unless the labeling rules are repealed, virtually all Canadian livestock producer groups and provincial governments who benefit from cross-border cattle and hog trade applauded the federal government’s swift action. With one… Read more »

What Increased Ontario Regulation of Neonic Use May Look Like — An Interview with Jeff Leal

Last week, the Ontario government announced its plan of an “aspirational” goal of an 80% reduction in acres planted to corn and soybean seed treated with neonicotinoid seed treatments by 2017. What farmers need to know now is how they are expected to meet said goal, and what the stated increase in rules and regulations may… Read more »

Grown-Up Bullying Alive and Well in Ontario as Farmers Get Steamrolled Over Neonics

Yesterday, the Ontario premier’s office and the ministry of the environment and climate change revealed its plan to restrict the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments. The goal, referred to as “aspirational,” is to reduce the number of Ontario corn and soybean acres planted with the seed treatment by 80% by the year 2017. The details… Read more »

Mandatory AgriStability Participation Removed From Enrollment Criteria for Ontario RMP Program

In 2011, a new provincial cost-shared Risk Management Program (RMP) was created for the Ontario agriculture industry. Farmer leaders across commodity groups came together as the Ontario Agricultural Sustainability Coalition (OASC), and worked with the provincial government to design a made-in-Ontario solution to help bring “predictability, stability and bankability to the farming sector.” In the fall of 2013,… Read more »