Have you heard the Ontario government is reviewing the future of the Ontario Food Terminal? The Terminal is an important economic hub, providing employment for many people living in our riding. Many small businesses rely on the Terminal for access to quality, affordable produce at fair prices.
Despite the integral role the Terminal plays in Ontario's food system, and the fact that it doesn't require public money to operate, we've heard the Terminal might be relocated outside of Toronto.
Moving the Terminal will benefit large grocery chains that have their own distribution network, such as Loblaws. It will hurt smaller businesses, like our independent grocers and restaurants—and our neighbours will lose their jobs.
UPDATE: On the morning of July 8, Bhutila announced her bill to Save the Ontario Food Terminal which, if passed, would designate the land as a provincially significant employment zone. She also toured the facility, speaking with workers and growers.
Shortly after announcing her press conference, the Minister of Agriculture announced that the Ontario Food Terminal will be “staying put”. Credit goes to the workers, growers and the Save the Ontario Food Terminal campaign who pushed back and forced the Ford government to change direction.
- More than two billion pounds of produce moves through the Ontario Food Terminal annually.
- Over 1500 community members are employed at the terminal.
- Small businesses such as independent grocers and local restaurants rely on the Terminal for access to quality, affordable produce at fair prices.
- Ontario Food Terminal doesn’t require one single dollar of taxpayer’s money to maintain and operate.
In 2014, then-Mayor Rob Ford, then-Councillor Doug Ford, and the City of Toronto voted to request the Ontario government designate the land as a provincially significant employment zone.
On June 5, Bhutila tabled Bill 127, An Act to amend the Planning Act to protect lands in relation to the Ontario Food Terminal. If passed, the bill would designate the Ontario Food Terminal land as a provincially significant employment zone. This designation would require the land be used for employment purposes only.
Round Table Discussion
Bhutila also hosted a round table discussion with community members, terminal workers and BIA representatives to talk about the importance keeping the terminal in Toronto and how to save it. You can read the full report on the discussion here.
Here's how you can help make sure the government makes good on their commitment:
- Sign and circulate the petition
- Contact your local Member of Provincial Parliament, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Please include firstname.lastname@example.org in your correspondence.
- Write to the Ontario Food Terminal Board members
- Speak with your neighbours, family members, colleagues and everyone in your network about the importance of the Ontario Food Terminal and ask them to contact their local MPP and the Ministers listed above.
- Join the local community campaign “Save The Ontario Food Terminal”.