Take the time to comment on ‘growth plan’

I had the opportunity to speak to the proposed Growth Plan for Northern Ontario this week in Thunder Bay.
It seems this plan has caused a great deal of mixed emotions. People are wondering how this is going to happen, when, and where. They want to see the action plans, but so far that is not available.
The session I attended was through the Northern Development Council (Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry) that I have been involved with for a number of years.
It sounds like this job is coming to an end as the Growth Plan likely will need a more technical group of people to push it forward.
The agriculture section is very much suited for us here in Rainy River District. It talks about increased farm production and value-added processing, and identifies the need for new farmers as well as export strategies and further capital support.
It reminds us to make use of support programs, particularly the Canada-Ontario “Growing Forward” program. It suggests the creation of district agricultural development plans, which is much unlimited.
We need to increase access to competitive technologies and infrastructure. It also recognizes the importance of increased local markets and “buy local” initiatives.
Regulations need to be streamlined to help with farm start-ups while, at the same time, maintaining our food standards. It suggests the government needs to work to expand agriculture and aquaculture research here in the north.
So I understand fully the mixed emotions. It all sounds wonderful but, like always, our questions are “Where is the money coming from?” and “How are we going to do it?”
Please take the time to comment on this proposed Growth Plan (not only on the agriculture section, but the entire document) at www.placestogrow.ca
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While you were experiencing rain and wet snow around here on Saturday, I was enjoying a coat-free, sunny day in Steinbach as my mom, auntie, and I went out to see my vet cousin for her 29th birthday.
Plus, she and her husband just purchased a new home, so we went for the tour.
?We kept getting text messages from home telling us to be careful driving back but we really questioned that since it was a gorgeous day in Steinbach.
My cousin’s new in-laws are dairy farmers, so we also enjoyed a tour of their farm. They currently are milking 80 cows and run only “green” equipment (and they have plenty of it since they do some custom feed work, as well).
They have a beautiful farm and a very nicely-designed calf nursery.
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I had to rush home from Steinbach since I was planning to attend a wedding reception for Tina Hyatt and her new husband, Tyler, who were married in October in Calgary.
I made it, not so dressed up, but at least I was able to congratulate the new couple and wish them the best (so that made eight wedding receptions for me this year!)
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The deer population was set back at my place over the weekend. My brother and his friends were busy all weekend, and it sounded quite successful.
Maybe I will have less fence troubles now if I lost my deer.
They did have to borrow my Karma to find a deer (it don’t help that my brother is colour blind and everything looks the same shade to him).
Karma was successful, as well.
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We had a little bonfire on Sunday to celebrate Deb Z.’s birthday. If you are in Tompkins Hardware in Emo, be sure to wish her a happy birthday (she was 29 again).
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Maddie and I took our bull calf “Cale” for a walk on Sunday. We actually were moving him to another pasture since it is so muddy everywhere now.
Maddie thought she could walk him by herself, so I decided to let her. Cale was starting to go a little fast, but she was determined to hang on.
Finally, I hollered and told her to “let go” just before he would have dragged her along the driveway.
He stopped quickly, she jumped up, and we grabbed him and we did it again.
It never even fazed Maddie much so I think she is getting tougher!

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