FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2023
QUEEN’S PARK – Bill 62 the Farmland and Arable Land Strategy Act, 2023, was defeated in the Ontario Legislature yesterday on second reading. In a vote of 68-29, all parties except the governing members, voted in favour of the legislation.
The bill would have required the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to develop a strategic action plan that aims to protect Ontario’s farmland and arable land from development, aggregate mining and the effects of fluctuating commodity prices and the availability of vacant land. It also stipulated a stakeholder-led Farmland and Arable Land Advisory Committee be set up to advise the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The bill passed first reading on Feb. 21 and was up for second reading on March 8, with the vote the following day. While the NDP, Liberals and Green Party MPPs all supported Brady’s bill, all PC members voted against it to defeat it.
Brady was disappointed with the defeat, reiterating protecting farmland should be a priority of the government.
“Ontario is losing 319 acres of farmland per day,” Brady said. “This is not sustainable. We need to protect farmland from development and, although the government speakers during debate of the bill said there was existing legislation for this purpose, I question why the loss of farmland is continuing.”
Brady had widespread support for the legislation, including letters of support from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Beef Farmers of Ontario, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Norfolk and Haldimand Federations of Agriculture, other county federations of agriculture, naturalist groups and numerous individual farmers.
“I was amazed at the widespread support for my bill,” Brady said. “I want to thank all who took the time to write a letter and want to share that many other MPPs were impressed with the package of letters they received with my bill. My fight to protect our most productive farmlands will not end.”
For more information, contact MPP Bobbi Ann Brady at [email protected]
or 519-428-0446 or 1-800-903-8629