For immediate release: September 27, 2018
QUEEN’S PARK – A Private Member’s Bill introduced by Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett, concerning alternate land use of agricultural land, has received all-party support in the Ontario Legislature.
Bill 28, “An Act respecting a voluntary program for the alternate use of agricultural land and the production of ecosystem services on that land”, over the past few weeks, has garnered interest and support from over 20 key organizations. These include, Delta Waterfowl, World Wildlife Fund, National Farmers Union, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario Homebuilders, Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Richard Blyleven from the Christian Farmers Federation was in the Ontario Legislature to show support for the bill, as was Lara Ellis of ALUS Canada.
The proposed legislation requires the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to develop a framework and action plan on how agricultural land can be used to create clean air, clean water, healthy soil and a better environment for the good of all society. It will also direct the government to create and distribute educational materials, promote the holding of international symposia, and encourage private fundraising.
“I am heartened by the support this bill has received inside and outside the Legislature,” Barrett said. “Support by my colleagues in the House today is testament to the respect held for farmers and the contributions they make as stewards of the land.
“This is a farmer-led program, I am proud the expansion and enhancement of ALUS will benefit all society,” he concluded.
NDP Agriculture Critic John Vanthof spoke in favour of the bill and commended Barrett for staying the course on the initiative. Green Party Leader Michael Schreiner thanked Barrett for bringing forward legislation that will go a long way to caring for the land and protecting water today and for future generations.
Barrett’s PC colleagues Randy Pettapiece, Andrea Khanjin and Sylvia Jones all spoke to the benefits of ALUS and the bill. Pettapiece recognized Barrett as, “…always being a champion for agriculture in Ontario.”
The bill was referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills.
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett
at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]