Jim McDonell, local MPP, hosted a discussion concerning the legalization of marijuana on Thursday, Aug. 30. (Shawna O'Neill,TC Media).
QUEEN’S PARK, Toronto – Jim McDonell, MPP of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, is making strives to level the playing field for organic famers and businesses.
McDonell tabled Private Member’s Bill 54 ‘Organic Products Act, 2018’ which has passed a second reading.
The bill seeks to harmonize provincial and federal certification of organic products, thus increasing consumer confidence while minimizing duplication of assessments and red tape.
Ontario houses the country’s largest organic market with over $1.6 billion in sales, yet it is one of four provinces that does not have provincial organic legislation.
“Time and again, our Government has pledged to make Ontario ‘Open For Business,’” said McDonell. “If passed, Bill 54 will do just that for our important and growing organic food industry.”
McDonell is encouraged by the support he has received for Bill 54 from producers and growers. Keith Currie, President of Ontario Federation Agriculture (OFA) also believes the bill will act in the best interests of provincial growers and consumers.
“This bill will simply bring Ontario into harmony with other provinces and ensure that all organic businesses are meeting federal requirements,” said Rob Wallbridge, Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) President, in a press release. “There are also positive implications for trade - with the necessary certification in place - businesses are free to expand into new markets.”
McDonell is striving to respond to voters’ demands to make the province more economically competitive.