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NDP election promises for Ontario ag

NDP election promises for Ontario ag

The party pledges to help young farmers get started

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

If elected in June, Ontario’s New Democratic Party (NDP) will raise the $100 million cap on the provincial Risk Management Program.

That’s one of the commitments the NDP is making to farmers in its official party platform.

Ontario will head to the polls on June 7 to elect a new government or re-elect Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government.

As the three main political parties unveil their respective platforms, Farms.com will highlight the key elements for farmers and rural Ontario.

When it comes to production agriculture, Andrea Horwath and an NDP government would defend supply management and protect Ontario’s Production Insurance Program. The party also vows to protect farmland from development, help young farmers get started in the industry. It would expand the “government’s definition” of farming to include urban farming.

Healthy eating, ag education and trade are also part of the NDP platform.

The party will develop a Provincial Food and Water Strategy to help promote access to healthy food.

The strategy is “based on the principle that the public should have access to water for drinking, sanitation and food.,” the platform says.

An NDP government would work the ministers of agriculture and international trade to “ensure farmers, processors and agricultural industries can succeed and grow at a time of immense trade instability,” the platform says.

An Ontario NDP government would also develop a food curriculum to teach about growing food.

Investments into rural Ontario are included in the NDP’s party platform.

The NDP will invest at least $25 million to build dental suites and operate mobile dental buses, “especially in rural remote and Northern communities.”

They also promise to cut hydro bills by 30 per cent and get rid of time-of-use charges, “ensuring rural users pay the same delivery costs as urban users,” the party platform says.

The NDP’s platform notes rural infrastructure as a priority in its platform.

The platform suggests the party will invest $100 million into natural gas expansion and spend $1 billion to bring broadband service to rural and northern Ontario.

The NDPs would also revive Ontario’s horse racing industry.

The party commits to reversing the “damage” the Liberals caused with its Slots At Racetracks Program “and build a long-term plant to revitalize this sector and protect the livelihood of these family farms,” the platform says.

The Liberals outlined ag's place in the party's 2018 budget announcement.

Farms.com will have information on rural and agricultural issues in the PC party platforms once available.

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