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Incoming premier to work with Ontario agriculture

January 28, 2013, Guelph, ON – The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) congratulates Ontario’s incoming Premier Kathleen Wynne, and looks forward to working together to strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector.

Wynne won the Ontario Liberal leadership – and will become Ontario’s first female premier – at the leadership convention held in Toronto on January 26.  She has stated that she will resume the Ontario legislature on February 19, after being prorogued since October 2012.

“Ms. Wynne clearly recognizes the importance of the agriculture and food industry as an economic engine in our province, driving job creation on farms, at processors and through innovation.  She will demonstrate her personal commitment to agriculture and rural Ontario by appointing herself as the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs for at least one year,” says Mark Wales, President of OFA. “OFA is hopeful Wynne will bridge the perceived Ontario urban and rural divide.  We look forward to meeting with her as premier and minister of agriculture to work on important issues affecting our sector.”

On behalf of Ontario agriculture, OFA will be addressing four areas of focus with Wynne and Liberal policy makers in the upcoming legislative session – Ontario’s agriculture and food strategy, energy, regulatory modernization and investing in rural Ontario. OFA is proud to work on behalf of Ontario’s farmers by advocating for issues that matter to agriculture. The Ontario agri-food industry contributes $33 billion annually to the Ontario economy and represents 10 per cent of the province’s entire workforce with 700,000 jobs.

“The OFA also congratulates Premier McGuinty for his many years of public service,” says Wales. “Mr. McGuinty recognized the importance of agriculture to Ontario and worked with farmers to help develop and promote Ontario products. Under his leadership, we have been able to secure a more sustainable future for our sector.”