by PAT CURRIE
In a gambit aimed at providing a large slice of the agricultural community with information to make "an informed choice" in the May 2 federal election, Ontario Pork has partnered with four farm organizations as well as Ontario cattlemen and grains and oilseed producers to create an election tool kit. The organizations together
represent 50,000 farm families across Ontario.
Part of the kit to be sent to producer/members of the organizations is a brochure for candidates that provides background information on reasons why the federal government should support an Ontario risk-management program, said Ontario Pork strategist Patrick O’Neil. The program, a form of insurance, was introduced four years ago for grain and oilseeds producers. The groups are asking the federal government to kick in 60 per cent of the program’s government funding.
The Ontario government expanded the program in its latest budget to include livestock and horticulture producers. Ontario pays 40 per cent of the cost but to date the federal government hasn’t signed on for its 60 per cent share, said O’Neil.
The purpose of the joint campaign is twofold – to inform candidates about the importance of RMP to Ontario agriculture and to help inform producers on the positions of individual candidates, said Ontario Pork chair Wilma Jeffray.
The tool kit provides a list of questions for candidates, including: "Are you committed to supporting Ontario Farmers in securing federal funding for RMP?"
"If you are able to get an answer to this question from any candidate, please forward the information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org," O’Neil asked. BF