For immediate release: November 15, 2023
QUEEN’S PARK—MPP Bobbi Ann Brady today implored Minister of Agriculture Lisa Thompson to truly listen and understand the needs of Ontario farmers. Needs that include the Beef Farmers of Ontario’s (BFO) request for a $100 million bump up to the Ontario Risk Management Program (RMP).
“(Minister Thompson in the House) reiterated contributions beef farmers make but made no mention of the requested $100 million bump up to the risk management program,” Brady said. “The minister said, and I quote: “Ontario beef farmers understand that they finally have a government that listens and understands.” If this government and the minister have listened and understood, why haven’t Ontario farmers seen an increase to RMP?”
Brady’s question stemmed from the BFO’s recent visit to the Ontario Legislature and a government member’s recently lobbed question to Minister Thompson regarding how the government is ensuring success of the beef sector. Responding to the lob, Minister Thompson simply celebrated the economic contributions of beef farmers but avoided any reference to the BFO’s $100 million bump-up request.
Minister Thompson today made no commitment in response to Brady’s question.
Brady reminded the House of the importance and profitability of the RMP program, which was designed to respond to the production risks farmers face as food producers not protected by the supply management system. The return on investment is highly profitable — for every dollar paid through RMP and self-directed risk management, gross economic output is increased by between $2.00 and $3.60.
“What we’ve heard again this morning is the minister cherry-picking items we’ve already heard but refusing to acknowledge the biggest concern of most of our farmers, a concern that, if addressed, would help support succession planning and give farm families the confidence to weather an often fluctuating and unstable environment,” Brady said. “When will the minister strengthen Ontario’s food security and the sustainability of the ag sectors by increasing RMP funding to $250 million?”
For more information, contact MPP Bobbi Ann Brady at [email protected] or 519-428-0446