A temporary answer could help producers manage finances until insurance payments come through
By Diego Flammini
Doug Ford’s government should develop a temporary solution to help Ontario corn producers get through a time when much of their crop is affected by vomitoxin.
That’s the message Andrea Horwath, leader of Ontario’s New Democratic Party, shared with Better Farming during her appearance at the OFA’s annual general meeting in Hamilton, Ont.
“We’ve raised it a couple of times in question period already,” Horwath told Better Farming. “We’re worried because the insurance is a plan that’s there, but we know that it takes a long time for that money to flow.
“What we were hoping the government would do is find a way to put something interim in place to help people get through the short term while the insurance program winds its way through. To simply say the insurance is there is not being sensitive to the immediacy of the concerns that farmers have.”
Horwath also noted the need for action to help all Ontarians with opioid challenges.
Giving the opioid situation the “public health emergency” designation will help people receive the assistance they need, faster, she said.
Ford’s conservative government and Kathleen Wynne’s liberal government “refused to call the opioid crisis a public health emergency,” Horwath said. “One of the things that designation does is it helps to flow resources quickly. If you have a state of emergency, then everybody has got to be all hands-on deck and you figure out what budget (the resources) came from afterwards.”
As a guest speaker on the first day of the OFA’s event, Horwath praised the industry for its contributions to the provincial footprint.
“Agriculture is absolutely at the root of our province. Shaping our landscape, driving our economy, creating jobs, putting food on tables around the world and laying the foundation for communities we call home,” she said. “The farmers and farm families who grow, process and deliver food day in and day out deserve our thanks.”