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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.

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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Soil is the key backbone to Ontario’s farming and agricultural industry. Without productive, healthy soil, there is no viable farmland to grow crops. As soils take ages to form, soil is a limited, yet extremely valuable resource. To honour the significant role and historical importance of soil in the advancement of Ontario’s agri-food industry, the...

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A recent map posted on the Environmental Defence website here shows the negative impact sprawl is having on valuable farmland. As the map illustrates, from 2002-2014, an overwhelming 75 percent of the land developed was on Class 1  and 2 farmland with the majority (71 percent) being Class 1. As Class 1 and 2 soils are...

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On Saturday, July 11th at the Pickering Recreation Complex, the federal government  announced its plans to expand its contribution of farmland to Rouge National Urban Park, if re-elected. The plan would see the government transfer 21 square kilometres (5,200 acres) of farmland and natural habitat from Transport Canada to Parks Canada. This means that, of the...

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