February 18, 2020
Dear Minister Hardeman,
On behalf of the membership of the NFU-O, we would like offer our backing for Bill 156 – Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, 2019. While the NFU-O supports the right for the public to protest, when unlawful entry onto farm property leads to safety concerns and stress for the farm families as well as the livestock, measures need to be taken for their protection.
The National Farmers Union – Ontario (NFU-O) is an accredited farm organization representing thousands of sustainable family farmers in Ontario and has advocated for farm families across Ontario and Canada since 1969. Members work together to achieve agricultural policies that ensure dignity and income security for farm families while protecting and enhancing rural environments for future generations. The NFU-O collaborates locally, nationally, and internationally to research, educate and share effective solutions that lead to a better world for farm families and their local communities.
We are aware that concerns have been raised by some members of the public that Bill 156 will encourage secrecy rather than transparency about food production. However, making farmers feel safe and protected from the behavior of radical activists will encourage farmers to be open and transparent about their farming practices. Beyond that, we are assured that the new PAWS Act will ensure that the welfare of livestock, in large feed lots and small farm operations, will be protected.
Thank you again for being so responsive to the concerns of Ontario livestock farmers and haulers.