Two provincial politicians have joined the vegetable growers who are alarmed by a proposal to strip the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers Marketing Board of its price-negotiating powers.
They are asking the provincial agriculture minister to intervene to allow more time for farmers’ comments, but Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal says simply that if they don’t like what the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission eventually decides, they can apply for re-consideration.
After re-consideration, he says he has the right to intervene.
Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett, who is the Tory opposition critic for agriculture, and Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek made their pitch in an open letter to Leal last week.
“Proposing major changes to processing vegetable marketing at the height of the growing and harvest season is not the way to do things,” Barrett said.
“Farmers’ priority is harvesting their crop, irrigation and other direct crop-related matters, not responding to regulations that could impact them.”
Barrett and Yurek met with processing vegetable growers recently on a farm near the Elgin-Norfolk county line.
“Why are farmers being asked to work on this during their busiest time of the year - extend the comment deadline to after harvest,” Yurek said.
For more information on the proposal, or to comment, visit the web site at http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=22133&language=eng .