At Ontario Farmland Trust, we strive to protect Ontario’s agricultural land to ensure our local food systems are able to support a growing population and future generations to come. In order to provide fresh, sustainable food to communities across the province, Ontario farmers need fertile farmland to grow crops and raise livestock. The more these valuable farmlands are taken over for non-agricultural land uses, the weaker our agricultural land base becomes. Some of these non-agricultural land uses that threaten farmland include landfills, aggregate pits, and urban development.
Recently, the Province introduced the More Homes for Everyone Act. The More Homes for Everyone Act works to increase housing needs in Ontario by developing outwards into rural communities, but the problem is many of these communities are prime agricultural areas. Additionally, the Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator (CIHA) Tool that was introduced as part of this plan works to bypass public consultation and an official planning review, much like Minister Zoning Orders. This means local farmers and community members would not have a say in how these proposed land changes affect their livelihood and wellbeing.
Ontario Farmland Trust recently submitted comments to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on this issue to stress the importance of protecting Ontario’s farmland both for the sake of future generations of farmers and non-farmers alike. Read our submission here.
Check out our other policy submissions on our Farmland Policy page.