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Ontario Consulting with Farmers and Agribusinesses on Proposed Regulations as Part of Bill 156

ALEEM SUFI, Office of MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy, Pickering-Uxbridge Shannon Weir, Office of MPP Lorne Coe, Whitby

Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge, and Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby, joined Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman along with Durham Region farmers and agribusinesses for a roundtable, on September 25th, to consult and receive feedback on proposed regulations for the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2020. This legislation was introduced to address concerns about food safety, biosecurity and farm families feeling unsafe in their own homes. “I wish to thank Minister Hardeman for meeting with our hardworking farmers to consult on the provisions to be included in the Minister’s Regulation under the Act,” shared MPP Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby. “I know farmers and agribusinesses in Whitby and the Region of Durham have been strongly appreciative of the Minister’s work to reduce the risks posed by on-farm trespassers, and protecting Ontario’s food supply chain.” “I will always stand with our local agri-food heroes of Pickering-Uxbridge who work hard to keep food on our grocery store shelves and dinner tables,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “Farmers and agribusinesses here in Pickering-Uxbridge have been strongly appreciative of Minister Hardeman’s and our government’s initiatives protecting Ontario’s animals and food supply chain during these unprecedented times.” “Our government will always stand with Ontario’s agri-food heroes, who work hard everyday so food remains on grocery store shelves and family dinner tables, especially at this challenging time,” stated Minister Hardeman. “I truly appreciate hearing what Ontario’s farmers and members of the agriculture sector have to say about the Act, and I invite the public to provide their thoughts and feedback on the proposed regulations.” Nearly 130 municipalities passed, or supported, council resolutions calling on the government to strengthen protections for farm families, employees and animals. This is part of the government’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of our agri-food sector, farm animal welfare and food safety. To address an urgent public safety concern, on September 2nd, the Ontario government proclaimed a portion of the Act which prohibit stopping, hindering, obstructing, or otherwise interfering with a motor vehicle transporting farm animals. The legislation respects rights of people to participate in legal protests which take place in public spaces, provided such protests do not have the potential to cause harm. Careful work was put into crafting this Act to balance the rights of farmers and their farm operations, as well as the rights for people to participate in lawful protests on public property.

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