MPP is touring manufacturing plants and job creators across Ontario; seeking ideas and solutions.
(Strathroy, ON) – This morning, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton was in Florence touring Willow Spring Greenhouses with owner John Rombouts. McNaughton was taking the time to learn from local entrepreneurs about how the Wynne government’s energy policies are hurting Ontario’s vital agri-food producers.
“Ontario’s agri-food sector has been a significant contributor to our local and small town rural economies,” said McNaughton. “I’m here to see and learn first-hand from experienced greenhouse operators like John Rombouts how the current government’s energy and environmental policies are hurting business, costing jobs and holding back our economy. I hope to hear some ideas and solutions to the current problems and will be taking this back with me to Queen’s Park for debate and discussion.”
The agri-food sector is a major player in Ontario’s provincial economy. The sector currently generates $36.4 billion a year in gross domestic product (GDP) and sustains over 790,000 jobs – about one in every nine jobs across the province.
“The one-two combination of the Wynne government’s disastrous Green Energy Act and their cap and trade carbon scheme is making it unaffordable for our greenhouse and agri-food growers to stay in business and compete with our neighbours to the south,” said McNaughton. “It’s no wonder people are being forced to consider relocating to the US or another more business-friendly jurisdiction. We’re pricing ourselves out of the market.”
Over the past several months, McNaughton has been touring manufacturing plants and other key job creators across Ontario. Many of these businesses are seriously considering relocating to other jurisdictions including the US and Mexico taking good jobs with them. The current government has lost over 350,000 manufacturing jobs all across Ontario, many here in southwestern Ontario.
“Many of these businesses are getting ready, or are in process of transitioning from the existing owners to the next generation. The owners I’m talking to are reluctant to expand and invest in Ontario. They are rightfully concerned about setting up the next generation for failure. It’s something I heard again today.”