By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The first out of three Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) tractor cab telephone town halls featuring representatives from the three main political parties has been completed.
“We’re hosting these Town Halls to help farmers get involved in the election process while working on their farms,” Henry Van Ankum, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario said in a release.
The town hall series began with Progressive Conservative candidate for Oxford Ernie Hardeman. It took place on Monday, June 2nd. Farmers from across the province tuned in from their tractor cabs to hear the PCs position on various ag-specific issues, including: raising the cap on the Risk Management Program (RMP), support for a soy innovation centre, approach to supporting research and what their party’s position is on agricultural technologies like GMO’s and neonicotinoids pesticides.
• PCs talked about their white paper called “Respect for Rural Ontario”
• The PCs pledged to cut red tape by 1/3
• Hardeman said that the PCs would address rising hydro prices and end subsidies for wind and solar projects
• Reiterated the PCs support for RMP, but did not promise to raise the cap
• The PCs could not commit to contributing funds to build a new soy innovation centre
• Hardeman said the PCs approach to the regulatory process/agricultural technologies will be based on “science not political science”
Upcoming tractor cab town halls:
• Friday, June 6th at 11:30a.m. with Jeff Leal (Ontario Liberal Party)
• Monday, June 9th at 11:00a.m. with John Vanthof (NDP)
The call-in number to participate for both town halls is 1-888-886-7786.
GFO says it will not be releasing the number of participates for the town halls until it has hosted all three.