By Fadi Didi
Parmalat Canada, Agropur and Mariposa Dairy among the winners at the Royal Cheese Competition.
There were more than 230 different entries in
this year's Royal Cheese Competition at the 2015 Royal Agricultural
Winter Fair in Toronto.
Winners included Parmalat Canada, which took the Grand Champion Cheddar Cheese and the Ontario Champion Cheddar.
Agropur Cooperative had the Grand Champion variety cheese.
And Mariposa Dairy's entry topped the Goat and Sheep milk variety cheese category.
The call to stop the ban on neonicotinoid-coated corn and soybean seeds has been sounded in the Legislature yet again by Huron-Bruce Progressive Conservative MPP Lisa Thompson.
The Tory environment and climate change critic recently commented on a report released last week by the province's acting environment commissioner Ellen Schwartzel.
Thompson reminded the House that Schwartzel mentioned scientific knowledge gaps surrounding neonics and their potential effects on food chains and ecosystems.
The report calls for independent research from an Ontario perspective into neonics used in raising corn and soybeans.
The Wynne government brought in a policy in July that would force farmers to reduce the use of neonic-coated seeds by 80 per-cent within two years.
Farmers would have to prove they need the seeds, which cut down on insect infestation without spraying or crop dusting.
Environment and Climate Change Minister Glen Murray says the policy is based on studies done on neonics in Quebec and the US.
Murray says the government was acting on a demand by the environment commissioner last year to reduce the availability of neonics based on worldwide findings.
He calls the policy a prudent approach to protecting the environment.
Grain Farmers of Ontario earlier this year launched a legal challenge against the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, which asks for a delay in implementing the policy so producers have time to adjust to it.
Neonics have been linked with a decline in bee populations.
The World Bank says climate change could push more than 100-million people into extreme poverty by 2030.
The report says it could disrupt food growth and fuel the spread of malaria and other diseases.
A farmer in Nebraska -- who was among the Keystone X-L pipeline's opponents -- is overjoyed at last week's decision by the President to reject the line.
One part of the Jeanne Crumly's family accepted an easement deal from TransCanada Corp. while another part fought it.
Crumly calls the president's decision an early Christmas present.
But there was disappointment in Montana, where the pipeline potentially meant a new water tower, and new plumbing to replace decades-old infrastructure.