By Manny Paiva
Huron Bruce MPP wants to make career guidance for agri food jobs mandatory in Grades 9 and 10.
The agri-food industry contributes $34 billion to Ontario's gross domestic product every year, and provides 740,000 jobs.
The Progressive Conservative MPP for Huron-Bruce has launched a private member's bill in the Legislature, that calls for mandatory guidance and career classes in Grades 9 and 10 on agri-food opportunities.
Thompson unveiled her proposed bill at a news conference at Queen's Park on Wednesday as the province marks Local Food Week.
She says the agri food industry is a provincial leader, and many employers have jobs waiting to be filled.
Thompson says Conestoga College in Kitchener is feeling the effect, as they have unfilled student spaces in their agri-food and agri-marketing classes.
She says she recently shared a petition supporting the proposed bill signed by students at F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham with Premier Wynne, who supports the idea.
Ontario Federation of Agriculture Vice-President Keith Curry says his group supports Thompson's agri-food bill.
He believes now is the time to support an Ontario industry that continues to grow.
Thompson's motion goes to second reading during Agriculture Week, on October 8th.
It's nearly six months away, but we'll have an official day to recognize Christmas Tree farmers in Ontario this year.
The bill, passed this week at Queen's Park, makes the first Saturday in December, "Christmas Tree Day" in Ontario.
The bill came from Simcoe Grey's MPP, Jim Wilson, in a private members' bill.
Wilson says with 674 Christmas tree farms in Ontario -- live trees bring a huge economic and environmental benefit to the province.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is leading a mission to Washington, D.C.
Ritz says he will re-assert Canada's position that the United States must repeal its Country of Origin Labelling measure for beef and pork or face retaliatory measures.
The World Trade Organization has reaffirmed Canada's stance that the U.S. measure is discriminating against Canadian cattle and hogs.