Farmers told to protect crops from corn flea beetle, but Liberals banned only treatment

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson called on Premier Kathleen Wynne to fix a significant oversight in the governments’ neonicotinoid regulations that bans the only seed treatment in Canada that can be used for the corn flea beetle.

“The government has the power to fix its mistake and allow the use of seed treatment to save corn crops this season,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately, the Liberals have refused to listen to the concerns of farmers and are unwilling to make any changes that would prevent the loss of crops.”

The Liberal government has told famers across Ontario to protect their crops from the corn flea beetle this season despite banning the only federally approved seed treatment for this pest last year.

Yesterday, five busloads of farmers drove to Toronto to attend a hearing at the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding the Grain Farmers of Ontario’s lawsuit against the provincial government. The lawsuit is aimed at delaying the implementation of provincial regulations on neonicotinoid seed treatments.

“The facts speak for themselves. The Liberals have botched the rollout of their neonics ban so badly that they are now facing a lawsuit from farmers,” Thompson said in Question Period.  “Many farmers will face financial hardship if changes aren’t made to the ban, but the Liberals still refuse to listen.”

A joint report released by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California found that neonicotinoids are not a threat to honeybees.

The Ontario PC Caucus has long advocated for a science-based approach to neonicotinoids. Instead, the government has taken a heavy-handed approach with the agricultural sector by mandating the reduction of neonic use by 80%, despite having no conclusive evidence that it may decrease bee mortality rates.

You can listen to the question here:


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