QUEEN’S PARK– Today during Question Period, the Liberal government admitted they are conducting their own review of the current regulations pertaining to the restricted use of neonicotinoids. The government’s own review is proof that even they know that the current regulations do not work.
Despite this, the Minister of Agriculture failed to confirm whether or not the government will support the solution provided in MPP Lisa Thompson’s Bill 4, the Supporting Agricultural Experts in their Field Act. This leaves many in the agri-food sector concerned about the impact this will have on corn and soy bean production in Ontario.
“This past week at the International Plowing Match, we heard the Premier say more needs to be done to support Ontario’s agricultural sector. Supporting my Private Member’s Bill is an excellent step in doing just that,” said Thompson. “Unfortunately, when asked today, while the Minister of Agriculture admitted there is work to be done to make improvements to the regulations, no answer was given on whether they intend to vote in favour of the bill when it comes up for debate tomorrow.”
Beginning in August 2017, changes to the definition of a professional pest advisor will prohibit anyone who works for a manufacturer or retailer of neonicotinoids from being able to complete pest assessments. The results will see the more than 538 Certified Crop Advisors and 30 Professional Agrologists in the province reduced to just 80.
Based on consultation, Bill 4, the Supporting Agricultural Experts in their Field Act, sets out a definition of a professional pest advisor that will eliminate any restrictions placed on employment opportunities in the regulations.
“I’m pleased to see acknowledgement from the government that there is a problem, and I hope the Premier decides to take action to support Ontario farmers and my Private Member’s Bill when it comes time to vote on it,” concluded Thompson.
To view Lisa’s question, click here: https://youtu.be/L_azK–_R4c