OFA’s talking points in Ontario’s 2017 budget
Budget is scheduled for release on April 27
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa announced he will table Ontario’s 2017 budget on April 27.
Farms.com asked Neil Currie, general manager with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, what items are most important to farmers in the upcoming budget.
With the current media coverage of increasing housing prices in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the answer to some of these issues could lie in rural Ontario, according to Currie.
“We’ve been saying all along that (government officials) are treating the symptoms and not the disease,” said Currie. “The disease is there hasn’t been adequate attention paid to economic development across the province.
“(Investing in infrastructure in rural Ontario) is critical for the Toronto housing market. If we spread and distribute economic development across the province it can relieve the pressure on the housing market in the long term.”
In addition to focusing on the housing market in Toronto, the OFA will monitor the provincial budget for other elements.
“Natural gas is a big issue, we’re working with parents concerned about rural school closures and we’ve been in contact with Minister Sousa about carbon pricing.
“That’s also a national issue we took to Members of Parliament (on March 23, 2017) because the federal government is going to be working with the provinces on carbon pricing,” he said.
OFA is looking for some relief when it comes to the increase in prices of farm fuels, Currie said.
Farms.com will provide coverage of the Ontario budget and its impact on agriculture when it’s tabled on April 27.