Letters & Submissions

Private Members Bill 27 "Protecting Agricultural Land Act, 2022"

Dec 16, 2022

December 16, 2022

John Vanthof, MPP
139 King St. 2nd Floor
Sturgeon Falls, ON P2B 1R8

Re: Private Members Bill 27 “Protecting Agricultural Land Act, 2022”

Dear Mr. Vanthof,

The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO) is an Accredited Farm Organization representing the interests of over 4,000 farm families in Ontario who are called to the vocation of farming. CFFO policy promotes economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable farming, advocating that farmers receive fair return for their production and stewardship efforts.

We are writing to indicate our support for your Private Member’s Bill 27, “An Act to amend the Planning Act to protect agricultural land.” This Bill addresses the urgent need to protect farmland in Ontario in a context of increasing development pressure and farmland loss. If passed, this Bill will require that Agricultural Impact Assessments (AIAs) be carried out before land currently zoned for agricultural uses can be rezoned, either by a municipality or by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The CFFO strongly supports Agricultural Impact Assessments as a valuable tool to help ensure greater protection for our farmland and connected Agricultural System, including input suppliers and processors, that support the vitality of our overall agricultural sector. Requiring that AIAs be conducted for any proposed zoning change will ensure that consideration is given to avoiding or minimizing farmland loss and mitigating negative impacts to surrounding farms and the Agricultural System in the area.

Ontario’s farmland is the foundation of the significant economic contributions of our overall agri-food sector. The sector has proven to be resilient and agile in adjusting to significant challenges and new opportunities. It will continue to be important to a strong Ontario economy far into the future – but only if our agricultural land base is protected.

Farmland also provides many important environmental goods and services including flood risk mitigation and wildlife habitat. Farmland and neighbouring natural features together ensure greater environmental benefits and corridors for wildlife and water through the landscape.

Productive farmland is vital to our food security, here in Ontario and globally. Recent disruptions to supply chains and global food systems demonstrate the value of food-producing land, especially close to home. All these benefits need to be considered when reviewing zoning changes that will permanently remove farmland from production.

We hope that MPPs in all parties will see the value of supporting this proposed Bill 27 “Protecting Agricultural Land Act, 2022” as a way to support farmers, our agricultural sector, and greater food security here in Ontario and around the world. Agriculture is an industry vital to our food supply, health and economic prosperity.

Thank you for your support for farmers.


Ed Scharringa, President
Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

CC: Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs