It is time to end the disconnect between urban and rural communities. The perception that the interests of cities differ from those of smaller centres is false.
Fact is, cities could not thrive without the food, resources and recreational amenities from our rural communities, and rural communities would suffer without the products, services and people coming from our larger cities and towns. Do you agree?
As a member of the Peterborough Agriculture Society and as an urban-based entrepreneur, I have seen clearly the city-country interconnections that make us strong and keep us healthy.
There are 900 farms operating in the Peterborough 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 which offer food that embraces local ingredients.
Local food production does not require long distance, carbon heavy transport and the quality of food that is direct from harvest- to-table is, quite simply, better for us and less expensive.
In terms of our rural lakes, rivers, campgrounds, resorts and festivals, Peterborough-Kawartha welcomes approximately three million visitors who spend approximately $300 million in the local economy.
Securing quality food that is affordable is based on the ability of farms (and farmers) to be successful. Farms are businesses and they need to have the right tools to connect them to suppliers, to buyers, and to vital services such processing and transport.
Similarly, our tourism operators need to connect with potential clients as well as suppliers. Visitors to our region also expect connectivity to make plans, book rooms, answer email or even catch up on the sports scores.
Our Conservative platform includes commitment to rural and remote connectivity. Good cellular phone service and internet is crucial to business big and small. Are we on the right track?
Constantly raising taxes on farmers does not lead to food security. Making life more difficult for campground owners with higher taxes and then promoting family camping with a tax credit doesn’t help our tourism sector. Higher taxes put farmers and tourism operators at risk, placing them and their families at a disadvantage or putting them out of business.
The carbon tax is a perfect example. The carbon tax raises the price of:
- fuel farmers need for their equipment
- transporting seed, plant nutrients, livestock feed etc. to the farm gate
- heating homes, barns and other buildings
- drying grains and processing other crops (natural gas, diesel etc.)
- transport to get crops from farm to market
- vacation transportation/travel
- fuel to heat or cool accommodations
- fuel for fishing and recreational watercraft
As individuals, the farmer or tourism operator might see some kind of carbon tax rebate under the misguided Liberal plan, but as a business, farms, campgrounds and resorts will carry the burden of the carbon tax.
Rather than burden our farms and tourist outfitters, our Conservative plan is focused on making large polluters pay into a fund that is, in turn, dedicated to the research and development of technologies and processes that reduce pollution. By supporting clean technology, we are creating jobs and producing products and services that reduce pollution air, improve water quality and protect and enhance the soils in which we grow our food.
In turn, we can export these technologies to countries around the world and thus have a meaningful positive impact on the environment globally. Do you agree?
Farms and tourism operators are burdened by mountains of red tape that impedes their ability to operate successfully and grow. Red tape is expensive and adds to an already heavy financial burden.
Our Conservative platform commits to reducing unnecessary and duplicative regulations and processes that are hurting farmers and tourism, raising costs to consumers, and impeding the supply chain that gets food to our tables.
As your MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, I will continue to support reducing red tape, lowering taxes and creating conditions of connectivity that help farmers, tourism operators and urban businesses alike all succeed. 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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