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Ontario losing 319 acres of farmland per day: 2021 census


Farmland is being gobbled up at an alarming rate in Ontario, according to the 2021 census.

“The last census (2016), the loss was 175 acres per day. Now, it’s 319 acres per day, and this is quite simply, not sustainable,” said Mark Reusser, vice president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

Only five per cent of Ontario is useable farmland, which means every acre lost to housing developments, is another acre lost, that could produce food for the new owner of that house.

“Only five per cent. And once it’s gone, it’s gone,” said Reusser, who farms near Waterloo.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture is urging both municipal governments, and the provincial government to rethink their “sprawl” growth mentality.

“Some places get it, and some don’t. I would reference places like Kitchener, who are trying very hard to preserve farmland, by intensifying housing, and providing people a choice of where to live, not simply in sprawling subdivisions,” Reusser said.

Food insecurity caused by the pandemic, or the war on Ukraine, should act as a wake-up call, says Reusser, that Ontario is not immune to food shortages, or food that’s simply not affordable for all. Losing the land that grows that food will only make that situation worse.

“The availability of food, and the ability to produce food, should be of importance to everyone,” said Reusser. Top Stories

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