YOU ARE LIKELY seeing lots of signs of spring — the days are getting longer, daffodils are blooming, trees are budding, and tractors are starting to make their way to the field for the 2022 planting season.
You will likely start to see more signs — election signs, that is. Ontario voters are heading to the polls to elect Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to serve in the 43rd Parliament of Ontario.
Grain Farmers of Ontario works closely with MPPs at Queen’s Park to influence policy decisions that will benefit our 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmer-members. Our staff and Board of Directors work hard to communicate to policymakers the importance of the grain and oilseed sector to the Ontario economy: Ontario’s grain farmers contribute $18 billion to the province’s GDP, employ more than 75,000 people, and generate more than $2.7 billion in provincial tax revenue.
As we head into the election, Grain Farmers of Ontario is engaged in an active campaign to make agriculture and grains and oilseeds priorities top-of-mind for candidates across the province. We are asking candidates to commit to supporting industry priorities such as increasing the province’s investment in the Ontario Risk Management Program, investing in the planned Ontario Sustainable Crop Research & Innovation Centre at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, addressing the costs of carbon taxes on the fuel for grain drying, and investing in a value-added grain and oilseed industry.
We will also be telling our sustainability story to candidates: we want them to know that Ontario’s grain farmers care about the land that we grow our crops on and the communities where we live, work, and play. Our efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, decrease our carbon footprint, improve biodiversity on our farms, improve our soil, and protect our water sources are all good news stories that we want to share.
You can find out more about Grain Farmers of Ontario’s election campaign at www.gfo.ca/government-relations/provincial-priorities.
As a farmer-member, you can help tell the Grain Farmers of Ontario story and get candidates talking about agricultural issues on the campaign trail. You can do that by getting to know the candidates in your riding and learning about their party platforms and their personal priorities, going to an all-candidates meeting and asking questions, or writing letters to tell them about the importance of the grain and oilseed industry in Ontario. Better yet, consider inviting your local candidates to your farm to show them firsthand how you produce high-quality grains used for food, feed, and fuel products, how you work to protect your local ecosystems, and how you make a positive contribution to your local and provincial economy.
But most importantly — vote! Make your voice heard. •