“This funding will help support these societies in these challenging times so they can recover and continue to share the joys and benefits of horticulture with our community and beyond,” says MPP Christine Elliott
MPP CHRISTINE ELLIOTT
Agricultural and horticultural societies in Ontario affected by the pandemic will receive financial assistance to help them recover from COVID-19 in 2021.
Program details under the $ 5 million program were announced by Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association’s annual general meeting last week.
Christine Elliott, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, welcomed the announcement, which will help protect and support agricultural and horticultural societies in the next phase of the COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Newmarket-Aurora is home to two long-standing horticultural companies who bring the beauty of gardening to our community,” said MPP Elliott. “This funding will help support these societies during these challenging times so they can recover and continue to share the joys and benefits of horticulture with our community and beyond.”
“These societies have a rich history throughout rural Ontario,” Minister Hardeman said. “They play an important role in agricultural education and offer young people in this province the opportunity to learn about agriculture and horticulture and to increase their appreciation. These funds will help support these societies during a difficult time so that they can keep working and contribute to our economic recovery. “
In the past 10 months, societies have not been able to host revenue generating events due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19.
This one-time initiative includes two funding streams:
- $ 1.8 million of basic grant funding will provide $ 7,000 to eligible agricultural societies and $ 1,140 to eligible horticultural societies to support their continued provision of agricultural and horticultural education across Ontario.
- A $ 3.2 million hardship funding for eligible agricultural companies will provide additional assistance based on reported 2019 revenues. This will help offset operating losses, liabilities, and fixed overheads.
Funding is expected to take place before March 31, 2021.
Agricultural and horticultural societies have played a vital role in educating Ontarians about the importance of agriculture for more than a century. Supporting this important sector at this point will ensure that societies’ long traditions and economic contributions are not lost as the province recovers from the effects of COVID-19.
- The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies is a provincial association that represents over 200 agricultural societies across the province.
- The Ontario Horticultural Association is a voluntary, nonprofit promoting interest in gardening and related environmental issues, representing over 280 horticultural societies across the province.
- Ontario supports agricultural and horticultural societies during COVID-19