MPP Thompson Launches Initiative to Support Agricultural Experts

QUEEN’S PARK – This week, MPP for Huron-Bruce Lisa Thompson launched a new initiative with the introduction of Bill 4, the Supporting Agricultural Experts in Their Field Act, 2016. The bill seeks to address the limitations that are being placed on Professional Pest Advisors (CCAs & PAgs).

Beginning August 2017, changes to ON Reg. 63/09 will prevent Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and Professional Agrologists (PAgs) associated with a manufacturer or retailer of a Class 12 pesticide from acting as a professional pest advisor.

“Across the agri-food sector I’ve received unanimous acknowledgement that something needs to be done to address the limitations that will be placed on professional pest advisors next year,” said Thompson. “If this government insists on restricting the use of neonicotinoids via regulations for goodness sake ─ let’s at least make sure they are workable.”

Ontario has approximately 600 licensed Certified Crop Advisors and Professional Agrologists willing and capable of conducting pest assessments. It has been said the government’s planned changes to the definition of a professional pest advisor will reduce the number of advisors to just 80, leaving only 2 advisors to serve northern Ontario. As a result, farmers will find it increasingly difficult to obtain the necessary assessments and documentation required to access the agricultural inputs they need.

“Farmers should have the freedom to work with whomever they choose, and it is my hope that the government will work together with the industry to ensure Ontario’s agri-food experts can all be outstanding in their field,” concluded Thompson.

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