“The winds of change have begun to blow” is a popular phrase that we often hear in folklore and fairy tales. This year, as I watched the autumn winds blowing the leaves about and the changing landscape as harvest gave way to winter, I couldn’t help but think it’s an apt saying—at least when it comes to the weather. When it comes to politics, I am not so certain.
2018 has been an eventful year. There was a stir in provincial politics when the Liberal Party lost power, and the Progressive Conservative Party took their place. Premiere Doug Ford has taken on his role with gusto, and we now wait to see what changes he will make in our government.
So far, the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario is pleased to see that the Cap and Trade program, which was extremely onerous for many in agriculture, was cancelled, and we look forward to working with our government to put in place practical solutions to climate concerns.
We are also pleased to see the initiative the government is taking to reduce the amount of red tape in agriculture, as well as some restructuring to Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. We pray these decisions will result in positive changes for the agrifood sector.
As always, we seek to represent the needs of farmers across Ontario. It is important to us that our government makes laws that support the agricultural community as well as protect farmland and healthy farming practices. As a farming federation, we have been long-time supporters of the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Program, an industry-led program that helps farmers reduce nutrient losses into the environment through efficient nutrient application. In November, CFFO joined other provincial organizations to renew our commitment to advancing sustainable agriculture through this program.
Many of us have been concerned about the changes that have taken place through the trade talks between the US, Mexico, and Canada. Now that talks are done, it will take time for the dust to settle and see how the new agreement will affect Canada and, more specifically, the agriculture sectors.
As this year draws to a close, I would like to encourage CFFO members to remember that your opinions really do matter. By being vocal in a Godly and loving manner, we can have an influence on the laws and governance of our province and country. With this in mind, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year, giving thanks to God for the abundance and the freedoms He provides to us in this country.
Clarence Nywening is President of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKXFM Chatham, and CKNX Wingham.