Provincial government provides immediate help to farmers

    GUELPH, ON, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - Ontario Pork applauds the provincial
government for their immediate response to the hog industry crisis. An
announcement was made today by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan that his
government will be providing 150 million new dollars to Ontario pig, cattle
and horticulture farmers who have been struggling to survive. The assistance
from the provincial government is the first step in helping hog producers to
make sound, long term business decisions.
    "The provincial government announcement confirms that the hog sector in
Ontario is a viable economic contributor and is worthy of investment," stated
Curtiss Littlejohn, Chair of Ontario Pork. "The producers of this province are
thankful to the provincial government for showing such swift and strong
support for our industry. The support offers hope for the future.
Unfortunately, the crisis in the industry is far from over, as industry
attention now turns to the federal government who have not offered their
support at this time."
    Agriculture is the second largest economic driver and the third largest
employer in our province. The pork industry alone employs an estimated 33 000
people in this province and contributes sales worth $4.7 billion to the
economy each year. Rising grain prices due to ethanol subsidies, financial
losses due to disease, and low hog prices have all been magnified by the
appreciation of the Canadian dollar putting the pork industry in crisis. With
the announcement today, the provincial government is recognizing the
importance of the hog industry.

For further information:

For further information: Keith Robbins, Director, Communications and
Consumer Marketing, Phone: (519) 767-4600 x 613, Email:, Website:

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