Politics has been on many people's lips of late. In less than 24 hours we will head to the polls to elect the leader of our country. I am not alone in my frustration of some (or all) of the candidates. It seems that they are quite capable of spouting off a promise here or a promise there. Yet we have no guarantee that those promises will actually come to be. I think Rick Mercer sums it up quite nicely in 90 seconds in the video below. There is little inspiration in the promises that have been put forward. A lack of vision seems to be the one commonality among our potential leaders.
It could be easy to feel despair at what appears to be a deficiency in our politicians. But I had a glimmer of hope on October 9. I saw an issue that is important to me move a step closer to reality. In Queen's Park, MPPs from all parties threw their support behind a private members motion from Lisa Thompson.
The motion was "that, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize the importance of agriculture and food literacy by ensuring that the Ministry of Education includes a mandatory component of career opportunities associated with Ontario’s Agri-food Industry in the grades 9 and 10 Guidance and Career Education Curriculum.”
How's that for vision?! I think that it is incredible to see Lisa using her passion for agriculture to bring about real change. With this motion there is the opportunity to rise to the challenge of a need for more employees in the agri-food sector. As an MPP, Lisa drew on the support of commodity groups and education organizations to put forward a motion which will support an important industry. The problem is clear: there are more jobs in agri-food than people to fill them. The solution is not an easy one, but more awareness and education about those job opportunities can serve to close that gap.
I take this success of Lisa's as a reminder of the power of politics. It is a reminder that a promise can indeed result in action. So even if we are underwhelmed by the promises made by our potential Prime Minister's it is essential that we think about the potential impact that they can make. There will be actions. Some we will agree with, others we won't.
But the first step towards that political action is our own. We must all step up to the voting box and use our own power to bestow on one of those leaders the ability to make promises come true.
I'm voting tomorrow. Are you?
I was raised as the seventh generation on a mixed livestock farm near Guelph, Ontario. Currently I am living in the beautiful Okanagan region of BC, where my husband works for Blue Mountain Winery. I maintain my close ties to Ontario agriculture through my job with AgScape (Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc.) and hope to bring a national, and global perspective to agricultural issues.