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OFT commentary and news about farm protection and policy that is relevant to the work and issues of the Ontario Farmland Trust.

I am a soil particle.  I am the backbone of a farmer’s field. Together with my mineral, fungi, bacteria and soil microorganism friends we help provide nutrients for plant growth, absorb and hold rainwater for use during dryer periods, filter and buffer potential pollutants from leaving our fields, and serve as a firm foundation for...

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Toronto, ON – The Neptis Foundation, an independent planning think tank released a new report today that looks at disturbing trends in land use planning in rural towns and villages across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) Region. The report shows that rural communities, including those in places such as Simcoe County, are being targeted for...

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The Ontario Greenbelt Plan has been in the news a lot lately, with the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review set to wrap up this spring. This review process has worked hard to update the Province’s four region-wide land use plans that coordinate urban growth, while also protecting agriculture and environmental features in the Greater Golden...

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Have you been driving through the countryside in the past couple of months? With spectacular fall views of trees changing colour, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and farmers harvesting their crops it’s easy to see how farmland brings a sense of identity to Ontarians. However, the agriculture and agri-food industry does a lot more than just...

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The Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT) recommendations to government on the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review are now available. The provincial policy review process has been ongoing since February 2015, and includes: (1) the Greenbelt Plan, (2) the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, (3) the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and (4) the Niagara...

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A new report called ‘Growing the Green, Protecting the Blue’, created by a number of local community groups proposes expanding the Greenbelt Plan to protect the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s (GGH) water resources. The Greenbelt Plan, a regional land use plan, works to permanently protect significant agricultural, ecological, and hydrological lands within the province. It is...

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A new University research project sets out to measure and document the conversion of prime farmland in Ontario. Prime agricultural land in Ontario is continuously under threat from non-farm development despite provincial policies and municipal policy objectives of protecting farmland resources in the long term. Farmland loss is a growing concern, given the necessary and...

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In February of 2015 a coordinated review of the four provincial plans began in response to the input and recommendations of the report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041.” This report outlined the immense pressure the Greater Golden Horseshoe is under as it is Canada’s fastest growing region. It...

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The much anticipated report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015 – 2041”, summarizing the review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan has just been released. The coordinated review was led by an Advisory Panel chaired by the...

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Through common ground, unconventional collaborative efforts are leading the way for farmland protection, as well as highlighting the importance of the ecosystems farmers work in and therefore, depend upon. A collaborative joint report by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Environmental Defence entitled, “Farmland at Risk: Why land-use planning needs improvements for a...

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