MPP Dufferin-Caledon

Dufferin-Caledon Farmers to Receive More Funding for Projects that Improve Water Quality

Dufferin-Caledon: Ontario’s Government is helping farmers take action in Dufferin-Caledon to improve environmental sustainability and water quality in the Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair watershed.

Sylvia Jones, MPP for Dufferin-Caledon, thanked Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, on his recent announcement of increased cost-share funding for farmers to help complete more than 300 on-farm projects that reduce phosphorus entering waterways connected to Lake Erie. The improvements come through the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) initiative, under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership.

Dufferin-Caledon will receive $83,317.89 for 12 LEADS projects in 2019-2020. Some examples of LEADS projects include:

  • Planting over-wintering cover crops to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion losses;
  • Planting vegetation and trees to provide a buffer between agricultural operations and waterways; and
  • Modifying equipment to improve management of agricultural nutrients and to reduce soil compaction.

“I am pleased that 12 projects in Dufferin-Caledon will receive a combined investment of $83,317.89 to reduce phosphorus levels in waterways that connect to Lake Erie,” said MPP Jones. “The Great Lakes are vitally important to the people of Dufferin Caledon – from farmers to businesses and the millions of people who live in communities near these vast bodies of water. This will improve the water quality across our community.”

Reducing the amount of phosphorus entering Lake Erie is the best way to reduce algal blooms, which can be harmful to human health and the environment. While phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and animals, scientists agree that too much phosphorus is the reason why we have harmful algal blooms in the lake. To support water quality improvements in Lake Erie, Ontario has committed to targets to reduce phosphorus entering Lake Erie’s western and central basins by 40 percent by 2025.

“Our farmers always have been careful stewards of the land and our government is pleased to support them in their actions to protect what matters most, such as water quality in the Lake Erie watershed,” said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Our government is committed to helping more farmers make changes through LEADS that will make their operations even more environmentally sustainable.”

More than 1,150 projects have received commitments from the federal and provincial governments through the Partnership, which will support eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations to innovate and grow.

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For more information, contact:

Lavinia Trask, EA for Sylvia Jones, MPP

519-941-7751 sylvia.jonesco@pc.ola.org