FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 23, 2016
QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP and Opposition Critic to the Minsitry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs questioned why the government cut $28 million from the budget of the ministry supporting the province’s top industry.
Yesterday was originally scheduled for the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to make a statement on ‘Taste Your Future’, a campaign of Food and Beverage Ontario. Barrett was going to respond, but the minister’s statement was unexpectedly pulled. Barrett decided to forge ahead with his tribute to the food and beverage industry, which is the province’s number one industry.
The food and beverage industry is the largest sector in the provincial economy, generating $40.7 billion in revenue. It’s a sector that grew between 2007 and 2012, a time when the province was in recession.
“I’m not sure why the statement was cancelled,” Barrett said in the Legislature. “We’ve seen a cut to the ministry’s budget. Maybe that was one of the reasons. I’ll just leave that with the Legislature.”
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]
Ontario Legislative Assembly
March 22, 2016
Food and beverage industry
Mr. Toby Barrett: Today I’d planned on responding to the minister’s comments on Food and Beverage Ontario’s Taste Your Future campaign, but the minister’s statement has been cancelled.
I want to start by quoting Norm Beal, CEO of Food and Beverage Ontario: “We are launching a major campaign called Taste Your Future because there aren’t enough people trained in our industry to take these jobs. We need young people and new Canadians interested in our sector for jobs ranging from millwrights to food scientists and marketing people.”
Further to CEO Beal’s numbers, he indicates that the food and beverage sector has 132,000 direct jobs. There are another 172,000 indirect full-time positions. He touts it as the largest manufacturing/processing sector in the province, bigger than automotive, and a sector that generates $40.7 billion in revenue.
Following the recession, we know Ontario was hard hit, primarily because of automotive, yet the food and beverage sector grew by 11% from 2007 to 2012. We’re second only to Chicago.
I just wanted to point this out. I’m not sure why the statement was cancelled. We’ve seen a cut to the ministry’s budget. Maybe that was one of the reasons. I’ll just leave that with the Legislature.