Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge and Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs meet with local agriculture industry leaders

Uxbridge, ON — Today Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge welcomed the Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, to Uxbridge to discuss our government’s support for farmers, the agriculture business, mental health, and rural Ontario as part of ongoing consultations with rural communities across the province. 

MPP Bethlenfalvy and Minister Thompson met with local farmers and agriculture industry leaders to discuss pressing issues for rural communities, including reducing red-tape and the regulatory burden on farmers in Pickering-Uxbridge and across the province. 

“We will continue to take action to reduce the regulatory burden on rural businesses and our agriculture sector, while supporting rural communities across our province during these challenging times,” said MPP Bethlenfalvy. “Rural communities are a key economic driver of our province. When rural Ontario succeeds, Pickering-Uxbridge and communities across our province succeed.” 

Farmers from across Uxbridge, ON participated in a robust discussion focused on strengthening Ontario’s agriculture industry by reducing unnecessary red tape, without compromising food safety, and ensuring the province, including rural Ontario, recovering from the global pandemic. 

“I want to thank the farmers of Pickering-Uxbridge for sharing some of the challenges they have faced during COVID-19,” said Minister Thompson. “Throughout the pandemic, our agri-food heroes have never stopped working to make sure Ontarians continued to have access to safe, healthy, quality local food and I’m committed to ensuring our government support remains strong for this critical sector during our recovery.” 

“This conversation has been very productive. Great things happen when governments take the time to listen to well-spoken suggestions for how things can be improved and streamlined. Thank-you to everyone who participated and shared their story and ideas,” said Dave Barton, Mayor of Uxbridge. 

Farmers have indicated in previous roundtables and conversations that they are more likely to open up about their mental health if they feel their counsellor or other mental health support understands the agricultural sector and the realities of farming. With the funding announced today, CHMA Ontario will also train and educate more mental health specialists on how they can better support farmers and the unique challenges they face. 

In the Know was developed as a result of research at the University of Guelph funded, in part, by the Province of Ontario. It helps to build resilience in the agricultural sector and is a steppingstone to more in-depth initiatives. 

This funding is part of the government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy. 



Safa Khan Office of MPP Bethlenfalvy 

(905) 509-0336 safa.khan@pc.ola.org