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NDACT calls for 10 year moratorium

November 26, 2014   ·   0 Comments

Two years ago November 21, the proposed Highland Mega Quarry was defeated and the Food & Water First movement was born from the North Dufferin Agricultural and Community Task Force (NDACT,) the grass roots organization which fought the proposal. Now, NDACT is urging the Liberal government to move immediately on protecting Ontario’s rare farmland by asking the for a 10-year moratorium on any new rezoning applications impacting Class 1 farmland.
NDACT‘s newly elected Chair Shirley Boxem says, “Since the law is a process of development, a moratorium gives all stakeholders time to think out how it should best be worded.
Development is eating up good farmland in Ontario at the alarming rate of 350 acres a day. Boxem says this is “unsustainable.” NDACT proposes the preservation of rare agricultural soil “in perpetuity for our food and economic security.”
At the November 13, 2014 NDACT Board Meeting, Carl Cosack stepped down as Chair. He was voted on as Chair, Nov. 2011 and attended and spoke at countless gatherings to promote farmland and source water protection, bringing NDACT and the issues “into the limelight.” Boxem says, “Carl will continue to provide invaluable support by remaining on the NDACT Board.”
Ontario’s agri-food industry is the largest in the country, at $34-billion a year and over 740,000 jobs. NDACT believes it is at risk because of the “lack of protection for prime farmland…each of the following ministries – Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, Natural Resources, Finance, Health, Economic Development, Municipal Housing and Affairs, Environment and Climate Change, and Tourism, Culture and Sports – touches on this issue…Yet, to date, there has been no co-ordinated effort among these ministries to preserve the best farmland so critical to our economy and well-being.”
Late last spring, Premier Wynne promised to introduce the “Farms Forever” program, similar to one that’s been operating in Pennsylvania for 25 years where 500,000-acres of prime farmland is protected for the agri-food sector – NDACT is proposing that “Ontario do the same in Canada with “Farms Forever,” and quickly.”
NDACT has put out a “call to action” asking Ontarians to write Premier Wynne and various ministers asking them to support the 10-year moratorium on new rezoning applications on Class 1 farmland. Information can be found at www.ndact.com

By Marni Walsh

         

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