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Ag’s place in Ontario’s 2018 budget

Ag’s place in Ontario’s 2018 budget

OMAFRA will receive $1.1 billion worth of funding in 2018-19

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Ontario’s agri-food sector and rural communities will receive some of the $158 billion in spending tabled in yesterday’s provincial government 2018 budget announcement.

The Liberals will invest about $1.19 billion into the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2018-19. That number is up from $1.03 billion in 2017-18, according to Finance Minister Charles Sousa's budget report.

The province seeks federal support for Ontario producers as trade partners implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.



 

Ontario is asking the Canadian government for “$1.4 billion for the agri-food sector to support productivity-enhancing mechanisms that will help businesses adjust,” the report said.

The provincial government has also promised to keep rural Ontario connected through investments in Internet and other infrastructure.

Roads, bridges and broadband in rural and remote communities will receive about $230 billion in investments by 2028-2029. Those investments started in 2014-15, the budget said.

A portion of tax revenue will also be used for agricultural purposes.

Ontario will use some of the revenue from its carbon tax to improve farmland and the environment.

The Province estimates it will collect about $2 billion from the carbon tax in 2018-19. About $25 million is earmarked for “improving agricultural soil health” and planting 50 million trees, the budget said.

Other ag-related budget items include an increase in Ontario’s tobacco tax, which will raise the price of a carton of cigarettes by about $4 beginning in 2019. The government will also invest $120 million over three years in the Food and Beverage Growth Fund, which provides investments in the food and beverage processing, a bioproduct sectors.

Farms.com has reached out to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for reaction to the budget. Farms.com has also contacted  the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board for details on if the tobacco tax increase will impact producers.

Chris Young/Canadian Press photo


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