Ontario PC Ag Critic Disappointed with Throne Speech
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
There was a lot of anticipation around Tuesday’s Throne Speech, especially from the agriculture community who were optimistic to think that there might be something significant mentioned about the industry. After all, Kathleen Wynne is not only the Premier but also the Minister of Agriculture.
To guarder reaction from yesterday’s speech, Farms.com obtained an interview with Ontario PC Agriculture Critic and MPP for Oxford Ernie Hardeman.
“I was disappointed in the whole speech; obviously this was an opportunity for the government to take us in a different direction,” said Hardeman.
Hardeman expressed his dissatisfaction that the only mention of agriculture was when the speech listed a number of sectors in the province and agriculture just happened to be one of them.
“The speech paid lip service to agriculture but did not address the issues that would actually grow the industry such as cutting red tape and an Ontario food procurement policy,” Hardeman said. “It’s clear that agriculture is no more a priority under this Premier than it was under the last one.”
Hardeman suspects that when the time came to sit around the cabinet table to discuss what should be mentioned about agriculture that there wasn’t a cabinet minister to speak on the issue. “There was nobody to speak on agriculture so it missed the boat all together,” Hardeman explained.
One of Wynne’s campaign promises was that she would appoint herself Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for at least one year in order to better understand the issues facing rural parts of the province.
“I was at least expecting some credence to what she [Wynne] had said,” Hardeman concluded.