Lambton County Facts:
- 525,000 acres of agriculture land, which is 5% of Ontario total
- Wheat crop is 11% and Soybeans are 10% of the province
- Agriculture is the largest economic driver in Ontario, and the 2nd largest in Lambton
- Dollar value of the raw agriculture production is 613 million dollars, before any value added.
- Full time farm employees in Lambton would be over 900, this does not include the self-employed farm owners
- Lack of high speed internet is a real and pressing concern to rural businesses. Some have line of sight, others have dial up or costly tethering hubs and still some are left behind with only cellular minutes available to them. Costs are often prohibitive, regardless of the options. The estimate under the SWIFT plan is the year 2040 for 100% rural coverage, this not acceptable Even the CRTC has let down Ontarians by failing to keep their commitment of 5Mbs download by the end of 2015 into rural areas.
- Farms are shouldering a disproportionate amount of the services in Lambton County. MPAC is due to be updated this fall,anda discussion and consideration to the tax load already carried by the farm sector to exam and consider these factors are needed.
- Natural gas is a potential cost savings and business booster for business owners and farmers alike .OFA estimates 500,000 rural customers could cut their energy bills by an average of $1000 per year. 300,000 farms and rural small business would have cost savings and would then be able to reinvest those dollars into the local economy. Rural gas usage would be household heating,grain dryers, heating in livestock barns and power generation.
- As new Official Plans are up dated, consistency across the county should be considered. Voter pattern does not allow enough consideration,nor consultation to the actual land owners.
- With respect to Road Infrastructure concerns, it’s important to ensure that agriculture products have full access through towns and direct routes to end users within the county. Additionally, it would be helpful to consult farm equipment companies on such things as roundabout constructions.
Bio Amber: A Lambton Success Story:
- A success story with the county and agriculture is the new Bio Amber plant in the county, as a bio economy cluster starts to form; Lambton County will be transformed to meet the new sustainability mandate that is being put before us.
February 2016 County Council Fact Sheet