Other initiatives are in place to promote Ontario agriculture
By Diego Flammini, Farms.com
Only a few days after Canada’s Minister of Finance Joe Oliver released the 2015 federal budget, Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa released the province’s budget.
While students eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program, commuters and young business professionals are expected to benefit from the budget, farming and agriculture are among the sectors that are seeing the province cut some of their funding when it comes to dollars and cents.
In the budget, Minister Sousa called for a 5.5% reduction in spending which amounts to approximately $2.8 million over the next three years. Agriculture is among the industries seeing those cuts.
Despite the cuts expected to come to agriculture financially, the province is taking measures to expand and promote Ontario’s current agricultural products including:
- A trade mission in April to China to expand Ontario’s reach in the agriculture and agri-food sector.
- A challenge issued by Premier Kathleen Wynne to create more than 120,000 jobs in the agriculture sector by 2020.
- Addressing climate change issues to help farmers better prepare themselves in case of inclement weather.
- Reviewing land use and planning to try and develop a Greenbelt for eastern Ontario to protect agricultural land.
Ontario’s agriculture has seen growth in the recent past.
Between 2013 and 2014, almost 17,000 new jobs were created in the agri-food sector bringing the number of people employed by agri-food to more than 780,000 and a 5.5% increase in exports, totalling nearly $12.5 billion.
Join the conversation and tell us your thoughts about Ontario’s 2015 budget.
Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa.