A Plan To Build A Strong Rural Ontario

ATWOOD, ON, Sept. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontario Liberals' new rural platform will mean real, measurable progress for rural Ontario families, Carol Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in the Ontario Liberal Government said today.

"What we've achieved together with rural Ontarians in the past eight years is nothing short of amazing," Mitchell said.  "Today, we're supporting rural Ontario and our family farms through Ontario's first permanent Risk Management Program — the biggest commitment to our farmers in over 25 years. We're on track.  But there is more to do."

The Ontario Liberal platform for rural Ontario, entitled, "Forward. Together" is a plan to help rural families meet the challenges we face as we emerge from the global recession.

Some of the key elements of the plan for rural Ontario include:

  • Improving municipal infrastructure and public services, especially in areas such as municipal drainage infrastructure, continuing to reverse the reckless PC downloads that put our rural communities at risk;
  • Continuing to bring more healthy, locally grown food to families through our commitment to promote local foods through key initiatives, such as The Foodland Ontario program, The Ontario Farmers' Markets Strategy, and ongoing collaboration with Ontario's retail and food service sectors;
  • Increasing support, through our Rural Economic Development Program, for agri-food businesses that have created and kept more than 15,000 jobs and generated nearly $500 million in economic activity across the province;
  • Making the Eastern Ontario Development Fund permanent, and creating a new Southwestern Ontario Economic Development Fund to help communities attract the jobs of tomorrow;
  • Creating a new Specialist High Skills Major in food processing in all Ontario schools, helping build skills in food and agriculture;
  • Supporting supply management in international trade talks and fighting for its place in the Canadian farming community;
  • Keeping our commitment to clean energy, that's creating 50,000 jobs and has already provided opportunities for 20,000 farmers who have applied for MicroFIT contracts — with almost 11,000 already turning on cleaner sources of power like wind and solar.

"These are uncertain times for the global economy.  These are challenging times for our rural families.  This is our plan to help.  This is our way forward, together," Mitchell said.

The Hudak PCs have a $14 billion hole in their platform — that means downloads and deep cuts that will put our economy, education and health care at risk.  The Horwath NDP would introduce a crushing $9 billion in taxes on our job creating businesses.  The opposition would create chaos and conflict at a time when Ontario needs certainty.

The full rural platform is available at www.theontarioway.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Liberal Party

For further information:

Ontario Liberal Party Media Office:
416 961-3800 ext. 328

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