October 3, 2003

Leaders in Agriculture Develop a GTA Agricultural Action Plan

Oakville, Ontario – Federations of Agriculture and Municipalities within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are working co-operatively to develop an Agricultural Action Plan to keep the GTA agricultural industry competitive.  Despite the unique challenges faced by this industry in the GTA, agriculture remains a significant economic activity and way of life.  The Proposed Action Plan will be discussed and refined at a public Symposium at Country Heritage Park located at 8560 Tremaine Road in Milton on November 22, 2003. 
The Symposium takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and provides an opportunity for broad involvement from local stakeholders within the agriculture and agri-food industries.  The event is primarily funded through a generous grant from the Canadian Agricultural Rural Communities Initiative (CARCI).  It will bring together a cross-section of key agricultural representatives and all levels of government to co-operatively develop a blueprint for the future of agriculture in the Greater Toronto Area.
“In spring 2003, over 40 agricultural leaders from across the GTA joined together to develop strategies to maximize agricultural competitiveness and opportunities in local Regions,” said Peter Lambrick, Milton farmer, Halton Region Federation of Agriculture member, and participant of the GTA Action Plan Working Group.  “An Action Plan is being collaboratively developed with the goal of attracting new business and investment by developing creative opportunities and markets.  The November Symposium is the next step in this process and given the level of participation and enthusiasm demonstrated at the spring workshop we anticipate the Symposium will be a success.”
The Proposed Action Plan will identify realistic steps for replacing retiring farmers, retaining an active farm community and rural landscape in the GTA, and defending urban/rural boundaries.  It will shape our communities by supporting Smart Growth principles through education and marketing; economic development; land use policy; and accountability and responsibility.  The success of the Action Plan depends on sustained and effective implementation from all sectors and diverse champions.
The Symposium is being co-ordinated by the Durham, Halton, Peel and York Federations of Agriculture, GTA Regional Municipalities, and City of Toronto, with advice from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  For more information on the GTA Agricultural Action Plan visit the Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario Web site at www.rpco.on.ca
To register for the Symposium, contact Adam Lauder (Peel Region) at 905-791-7800 ext. 4094.
Media Contact:
Jane Clohecy
Director of Planning & Transportation
Planning & Public Works
Regional Municipality of Halton
905-825-6000 ext. 7966
Toll free: 1-866-442-5866


The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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