Red tape increasing on Ontario farms
By Ernie Hardeman MPP Oxford
Oct. 1, 2012 - At the beginning of Ontario Agriculture Week, Ernie Hardeman, Oxford MPP and PC Critic for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, released results from his recent agriculture survey that show the red tape problem is increasing.
“Ontario famers sent a clear message – they are struggling with red tape and under this government the problem is getting worse,” said Hardeman “Ontario farmers now spend the equivalent of four work weeks every year just dealing with government forms and paperwork.”
The Ontario PC agriculture survey found that:
- 77.2% of respondents said that red tape is increasing;
- On average Ontario farmers spend 154.2 hours a year just filling out government forms – the equivalent of about four standard 40 hour work weeks; and
- 66.4% of farmers said there were examples of red tape and/or regulations that add to their workload and/or hinder their operation, but have no value.
“Ontario Agriculture Week is a time to celebrate our farmers but it is also a good opportunity to examine whether we are doing everything that we can to help them succeed,” said Hardeman. “It’s clear from the results of this survey that much more needs to be done to strengthen the agriculture industry and support local food.”
The week before Thanksgiving was designated as Ontario Agriculture Week by a PC private members bill in 1998.
“We need to ensure farmers are able to focus on growing great Ontario food,” said Hardeman. “This Thanksgiving I hope that people will support our farmers by choosing local food and by telling our government that they need to do better.”
During the summer Hardeman launched the Ontario PC agriculture survey to hear directly from farmers about red tape, the impact of the drought, processing and other issues. Additional results will be released over the next few weeks.
“I want to thank farmers from across Ontario who took the time to share their ideas and the challenges they are facing. We will use that information to challenge the government to do better and to put forward policy ideas that will strengthen Ontario’s agriculture industry,” said Hardeman.