Ontario MPPs turned out on May 13 to support the province’s pork industry during a “Put Ontario Pork on Your Fork” event at Queen’s Park.
Pork Industry Woes
Attendees, including Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky, and Ontario Pork chair Wilma Jeffray, dined on different pork dishes while discussing the significance of the pork sector to the province.
“We are focused on making this industry sustainable,” says Wilma Jeffray. “The industry provides employment for 33,000 Ontarians and infuses $4.7 billion to the province’s economy. The impact on the Canadian economy of the Ontario pork industry is close to a billion dollars in Gross National Product, and another 14,000 jobs. To lose this industry would be a significant blow to Ontario at an already difficult time.”
Bans Still in Place
Meanwhile, a ban on the import of Canadian pork by 10 countries is still in place due to fears of the H1N1 virus. That was followed by a World Health Organization warning against eating pork from animals that could have been infected by H1N1.
Throughout the luncheon MPPs again stated the fact that Ontario pork is completely safe to eat. “Ontario pork producers and processors put high-quality food on our tables – every day of the year,” says Dombrowsky. “They are an important part of our agri-food sector and integral to Ontario’s rural economies. I encourage Ontarians to make Ontario pork part of your regular menu.”