Join us in speaking up to protect Ontario’s farmland for farming

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Author: Sustain Ontario

Posted: May 23, 2023

Categories: News from Sustain Ontario

Your voice is needed to tell the government that Ontario farmland must be protected for farming! 

The Ontario government’s newly introduced Bill 97 and Proposed Provincial Planning Statement will weaken farmland protections by allowing up to three lot severances per farm parcel in prime agricultural areas province-wide for residential, non-farm uses in addition to weakening important protections for specialty crop areas.

“This legislation will have impact on all Ontario farmers now and in the future. It will fragment and permanently remove farmland from productive agricultural use, and limit farm business growth,” explains Peggy Brekveld, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “Ontario’s productive farmland is a scarce resource, making up less than five per cent of all the land in the province. Agricultural production is the most valued and best use of this land.”

This legislation will have impact on all Ontario farmers now and in the future, including:

  • fragmenting and permanently removing farmland from productive agricultural use
  • limiting farm business growth
  • inflating farmland prices
  • creating conflict with non-farming residential neighbours
  • adding significant new burden to already stretched municipal and regional services and service providers

The provincial government wants to hear from individual farmers and farm workers by June 5, 2023.

Together, the National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O), the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) have launched a #WeWillNotBeDivided campaign, asking individuals to tell provincial political leaders that removing farmland protections in the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement is short-sighted and will undermine your work in contributing to the provincial economy, your rural community, and protecting our local and long-term food security.

A number of commodity and agricultural organizations are united in this opposition to Bill 97 and the Proposed Provincial Planning Statement, including Sustain Ontario.

Please learn more and take action on NFU-O’s website here.

You can also read more in the news, like this CBC article, Farmers say Bill 97 imperils ‘the future of agriculture’ in Ontario.