Ontario’s agri-food budget cut $47 million: Barrett



QUEEN’S PARK – Today’s budget didn’t offer much for farmers, agri-food processors or rural Ontario, according to Opposition Agriculture Critic Toby Barrett.

Our farms and factories are under the gun of additional costs from cap and trade piled upon the skyrocketing costs for electricity – but there was no relief in the 2017-18 budget.

The agriculture budget was cut from $1,073.6 million in last year’s budget to $1,026.5 million in this year’s. That’s a cut of $47.1 million.

“This budget is a snub to agri-business and rural Ontario,” Barrett said. “While farmers are trying to rationalize threats to supply management and rising input costs, their provincial government doesn’t seem to be in their corner.”

In particular, Barrett pointed to greenhouse operators who are hit hard by cap and trade with skyrocketing costs for their natural gas bills, and processing vegetable growers facing a threat to orderly marketing.

“The bottom line is life and business has become tougher and more expensive compared to neighbouring jurisdictions in the US and Canada,” Barrett said. “The present regime is not business friendly. As a result, businesses and jobs have been leaving.”



For more information contact MPP Toby Barrett at [email protected] or 519-428-0446