Agriculture and Tourism

The divide between urban and rural interests is hurting Canada, and it’s hurting Peterborough-Kawartha. Do you agree?

There are a lot more votes in urban ridings than in rural, and the tendency to put emphasis on urban issues is leaving gaps in our social and economic fabric. I will bring to Ottawa a clear and authentic plan to recognize and address rural issues through a national rural secretariat.  Am I on the right track?

Agriculture and tourism are two large and distinct economic opportunities and job creators in Peterborough-Kawartha.

A 4th generation farmer said to me a few weeks ago – “Without agriculture, we’d have no clothes, no food and no beer”.   I believe agriculture is extremely important! Do you agree?

Did you know Peterborough’s agri-business is worth millions of dollars per year? There are about 900 farms operating in the region growing everything from grain and oilseeds, to livestock, fresh produce and everything in-between.

In peak season, eight farmers’ markets operate throughout Peterborough and the Kawarthas. The agriculture sector is also well-supported by area chefs at over 300 diverse restaurants that offer food that embraces local ingredients.

Just like any modern business, the Agri sector needs supply networks, it needs communications services and it needs high speed internet. Another disparity facing rural areas is the lack of good cellphone or internet coverage in smaller communities like Trent Lakes, Selwyn, Douro-Dummer, Asphodel-Norwood, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, North Kawartha and all of the residents and businesses in between.

Do you feel our rural areas have adequate cell and internet services?

What our region does not need is four more years of Justin Trudeau.

Under NAFTA, Justin Trudeau made unprecedented concessions to Donald Trump that have caused fear and anxiety in our dairy and poultry industries and pose a real threat to rural communities.

Further, Trudeau’s abject failure in relations with China have hurt meat, grain and oil seed farmers.

Do you believe Justin Trudeau’s government has mishandled NAFTA and China?

Tourism is another huge economic generator for Peterborough’s rural communities, and this spring we heard from key stakeholders that small business has been - and remains - under attack by the Trudeau Liberal government.

Are you a small business owner or farmer?

A much larger, more aggressive Canada Revenue Agency is actively focusing on small business, changing the rules, and arbitrarily defining active or passive income to radically increase the tax burden on campgrounds and other property-based small businesses.

Small businesses will also assume the greatest portion of the Carbon Tax which is applied to all forms of fuel including oil or gas needed to heat offices and shops. While homeowners will see some form of rebate, businesses will not. Electricity is not a cost-effective option due to the previous provincial Liberal government that left the province with some of the highest electricity costs in North America. Do you support a carbon tax?

Looking to the immediate future, local community leaders and businesses told me that promoting North Kawartha tourism is critical as is the local infrastructure that attracts visitors, namely the Trent-Severn Waterway.

For years, the Trent-Severn has not received funding support from the federal government and the result has been a steady decline in the condition of the lock system, canals, roads, rail and trails. I will always fight to make sure the Trent-Severn is managed and funded correctly.

It’s time to end the urban bias imposed on rural areas; bias that curbs development and stifles economic opportunity. I’d love to hear your ideas on rural issues and solutions.

As your MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, I will champion a rural secretariat. I will continue to support reducing red tape, lowering taxes and creating conditions that encourage small and rural businesses. I will work tirelessly to help the people of Peterborough Kawartha to get ahead! That’s why I am running for election on October 21.

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