GFM Network News


Lisa Thompson. (Lisathompsonmpp.ca video screengrab via YouTube)

Ontario names new ag minister in shuffle

Lisa Thompson replaces Ernie Hardeman

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario Premier Doug Ford has drawn another aggie from his existing cabinet to replace Ernie Hardeman as his agriculture minister. Ford on Friday announced a major cabinet shuffle, dropping Hardeman, the long-time MPP for Oxford, from the cabinet table and naming Lisa Thompson as minister for agriculture, food and rural affairs. Thompson, who until Friday […] Read more

A colourized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria. Individual bacteria in this photo are oblong and colored brown. (Eric Erbe photo and colourization by Christopher Pooley courtesy ARS/USDA)

Ryding-Regency’s federal beef packing licenses cancelled

Reading Time: 3 minutes Citing “false or misleading information” given them during an E. coli probe, food safety officials have now permanently pulled the federal slaughter, processing and export licenses for Toronto’s Ryding-Regency Meat Packers and related companies. The cancellation, announced Monday, indefinitely prolongs what was already described as “critical processing capacity shortage” for the province’s cattle producers, leaving […] Read more


Beef cattle feeding in Ontario. (DebraLee Wiseberg/iStock/Getty Images)

Ontario plugs holes in wildlife compensation plan

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ontario’s agriculture ministry has patched a glitch in its wildlife damage compensation program, in which farmers’ claims risked rejection over the validity of their farm business registrations. “We heard livestock farmers’ concerns with the program so we’re making the first changes effective immediately,” Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman said in a release Monday. “We’re also continuing […] Read more

Over 250 people came out to a November 2017 meeting east of London, Ont. hear about the impact of a high-speed rail corridor going through their communities. (John Greig photo)

Ontario farmers want voice on high-speed rail

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ontario farmers and rural residents want a place on the advisory board on the creation of a high-speed railway line expected to significantly affect their farms and communities. The province has appointed business, municipal and indigenous groups to the board, but farm organizations, such as the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), are calling for representation […] Read more


(OntLA.on.ca)

Ontario general farm organization fee increasing

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ontario farmers will be paying more for their representation by their general farm organizations in 2018 after the government approved a $30 increase. The annual fee will be $225 plus HST for membership in the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario or National Farmers Union-Ontario. All registered farmers have to pay the […] Read more

Keith Currie was acclaimed to a second term as OFA president at the organization’s annual meeting Nov. 20-21 in Toronto. (John Greig photo)

OFA pre-election policy targets broader economic development

Reading Time: 3 minutes Stable rural areas and thriving farms can help urbanites with some of their biggest challenges. That’s the message from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture going into next year’s provincial election. The OFA talked about how it is framing its election strategy at its annual meeting, which ran Monday and Tuesday in Toronto. “With the election […] Read more


Finance Minister Bill Morneau, shown here at a Hunter River, P.E.I. farm in July, proposes a major overhaul to Canada’s tax code affecting private corporations. (Fin.gc.ca)

Farm groups line up against feds’ tax proposal

Reading Time: 3 minutes National, regional and sector farm groups are forming up with several major business associations on the offensive against a proposal to reform how incorporated businesses are taxed in Canada. The federal finance department tabled a series of proposals July 18, opening them for public comment until Oct. 2 for a proposed effective date of Jan. […] Read more

(Dave Bedard photo)

Ontario minimum wage increases concern farmers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Changes to the way labour is regulated and paid for in Ontario will have detrimental effects on farm profitability, say farm organizations. Premier Kathleen Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn announced the changes this week, outlining the proposed legislation after a review of the acts that govern labour in Ontario was completed. The largest impact […] Read more


(OntLA.on.ca)

Ontario budget seeks tax flexibility for on-farm processing

Reading Time: 4 minutes The Ontario government has balanced its budget for the first time in since 2008 — but Thursday’s budget contained little news for agriculture and rural Ontario. Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s budget mostly highlighted agriculture programs that had already been announced, and maintains $100 million in funding for the provincial Risk Management Program, which helps offsets […] Read more

(Ontario.ca)

Restricted zone tightens for Algonquin wolf hunting

Reading Time: 2 minutes Farmers will be able to protect their livestock and families from Algonquin wolves in any areas and hunting will only be restricted in areas near four parks, allaying some concerns of farmers after the wolf was declared a threatened species. Kathryn McGarry, Ontario minister of natural resources and forestry, spoke to the Ontario Federation of […] Read more