People Unite in Support of Thompson’s Private Member’s Bill
QUEEN’S PARK – The passage of Bill 4 yesterday with support from all parties is a positive step forward in making the regulations surrounding Class 12 pesticides more workable for Ontario’s corn and soy bean producers, says MPP for Huron-Bruce Lisa Thompson.
Bill 4, the Supporting Agricultural Experts in their Field Act, was introduced on September 13th by Thompson with the aim to eliminate the planned restrictions on employment opportunities for professional pest advisors affiliated with manufacturers or retailers of Class 12 pesticides. After yesterday’s successful vote, it now heads to committee for review and public consultation.
“Everyone close to crop production in Ontario is well aware that ON Reg. 63/09 was over the top,” Thompson said. “I want to be clear in stating that the agri-food industry itself has taken great strides to research and understand the issue, develop a pollinator health plan, and educate farmers on new equipment and technologies so they can continue to be the best stewards of the land. This regulation was far too restrictive and unnecessary.”
She added, “So I’m particularly pleased that all parties have recognized the need to revisit the regulations restricting the use of neonicotinoids. We need to engage our stakeholders to ensure that a balanced result evolves out of our committee work.”
In addition to ensuring that Ontario’s 538 Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and 30 Professional Agrologists (PAgs) can continue their line of work unimpeded, the Bill also calls for the removal of restrictions on the employment of summer students, improved processes for conducting pest assessments, and the clarification of criteria a Minister or their designate must consider when approving a candidate’s application to be considered a professional pest advisor.
“Ontario’s farming community is an important contributor to our economy, and the government should be treating them as such. Burdening them with more regulations and an increasingly restrictive operating environment is no way to grow the industry. The sector as a whole needs to see more support from this government, not more barriers” concluded Thompson.
To view the debate, click here: https://youtu.be/qdTCXm_YnhM
– 30 –