ONTARIO — As candidates officially kick off their campaigns for the June 7 election, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is reinforcing the fact that agriculture and rural Ontario hold the key for provincial prosperity and long-term economic growth.
“With the balance of Ontarians living and working in urban ridings, advocating for a greater understanding of the needs and opportunities that lie in Ontario’s agri-food industry and rural communities has never been more important,” says Keith Currie, OFA President. “OFA’s election campaign, Producing Prosperity in Ontario, outlines the tremendous potential to drive economic growth, affordable housing opportunities, job creation, environmental sustainability and local food security.”
Throughout the election, OFA will be reaching out to candidates across the province – rural and urban – asking them to learn more about the contributions our agri-food sector and rural communities already make to the provincial economy. OFA will also be talking to candidates about the necessity of long-term investments to spearhead increased economic prosperity for the entire province.
“Our agri-food sector is known as the key economic engine for the province. We’ve got tremendous potential, but need the next provincial government to understand how much we can grow the economy through increased revenues, job creation and improved efficiencies,” says Currie.
Ontario agriculture contributes $13.7 billion to the province’s annual GDP and $1.4 billion in provincial tax revenues. Much of the province’s agri-food processing industry is located in and surround the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). That makes the health and security of Ontario’s agriculture sector and rural residents who work on farms and in agriculture businesses vital to the jobs and success of processing businesses in our largest urban centres.
“Agriculture, food and rural communities matter and can be the game-changer,” says Currie. “With prudent, distributed economic development we have an opportunity to help everyone in the province, no matter where you live. No other industry can claim that. So I say game on – agri-food and rural communities will make a difference in Ontario if the next government helps them realize the true potential they hold.”
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is the largest general farm organization in Ontario, representing 37,000 farm families across the province. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA works to represent and champion the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more. OFA is the leading advocate for Ontario’s farmers and is Ontario’s voice of the farmer.