It has been 25 years since the Government of Canada declared February as Black History Month. In 1995, the Honourable Jean Augustine (pictured above) coordinated a breakthrough unanimous vote to officially designate February as Black History Month in Canada. Augustine is the first Black woman elected as a Canadian Member of Parliament and the first Black woman appointed to the federal cabinet. She has held roles such as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, and continues to dedicate her life to advocate for social justice and equality.Continue reading Black History Month 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique
opportunities and pressures for local food systems. The
current situation has demonstrated how critical these
systems are, as well as exposing weaknesses that make
them vulnerable. The North & Eastern Ontario Local Food Virtual Conference provides an opportunity for people to share their experiences and provide diverse perspectives on local food.
About this event:
The virtual conference consists of four free sessions, taking place every Wednesday starting March 10, from 10am – 12pm. The goal of these sessions is to explore the hard-won lessons learned from the pandemic that can help strengthen local food businesses and organizations.Continue reading North AND Eastern Ontario Local Food Virtual Conference
The second virtual Teeny Tiny Summit that took place on September 23rd, 2020 discussed how communities have been able to promote engagement and activity in alternative formats throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Speakers shared insight on engagement initiatives that their teams have coordinated to provide support to the community and other organizations.
Below are key items and initiatives from each of the speakers and organizations mentioned:Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summit – Creatively Bringing Communities Together Recap
Join us for the next Teeny Tiny Summit taking place on Wednesday, September 23rd from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm to hear about creative ways communities have been brought together. For registration and event details, visit the Teeny Tiny Summit page.
Why should I attend Teeny Tiny Summit?
- Become inspired – learn of relevant examples from a community like yours
- A breath of fresh air –refresh with new perspective and insight from other small communities
- Discover – learn about pursuing economic development goals in your community
Session TopicsContinue reading Teeny Tiny Summit – Creatively Bringing Community Together
The Teeny Tiny Summits began in 2016 as a forum to discuss scale-appropriate economic development techniques in Ontario’s smallest communities. Since then,1300 people have attended 11 summits. Feedback from participants tells us that they always come away inspired and engaged, with ideas that they can put into practice right away in their communities. This year, a virtual format was adopted for the first time. But just like previous offerings, participants benefited from the wisdom of their peers and were every bit as inspired as they have been in the past. Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summit Goes Virtual!
Ontario’s Local Food Week is here from June 3rd – 9th, 2020! This week we emphasize the importance of Ontario’s hardworking farmers, food processors, organizations and agri-sector workers who are committed to providing Ontarians with access to a steady, reliable supply of fresh local food products. With the vast array of food options available, we can remain confident that our agriculture and agri-food industry continues to be resilient and innovative.
OMAFRA’s Agriculture Economic Development Resource Guide for Communities notes that Ontario’s agri-food sector is one of the province’s largest economic contributors. In 2016, over $37 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) was contributed to Ontario’s economy from the agri-sector with the provision of over 800,000 jobs – roughly 12% of total provincial employment. This means that one in eight Ontarians are agri-sector workers!
Guest blog written by Emily Potter, Executive Director, NOFIA
With the current COVID-19 situation changing daily, challenges that farmers were facing prior to the outbreak have escalated, and new challenges are being presented week by week. While the general public are expressing concerns about the food supply, farmers want the public to know that they will not stop producing safe and healthy food for them to consume. Despite mounting challenges, Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry is resilient and innovative.
Industry organizations everywhere have been working hard to provide up-to-date information and create tools to ensure farmers and producers can continue to meet the country’s demand. Whether this be releasing practical tools and information, developing support programs, or working with the government to ensure the supply chain is maintained.
The Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice held a webinar on April 15, 2020, to discuss issues in the agriculture and food sector due to COVID-19 and how to help communities during these difficult times.
One concern expressed is the lack of agriculture labourers. The agricultural community is worried that they will not get their full complement of temporary seasonal workers, and that would impact their ability to plant and harvest this season. The goal of the Community of Practice it to help find local and regional solutions to address these types of issues.
The Rural Ontario Institute has created a Young Rural Change Makers pilot program that invites young adults to develop their community leadership capacity to make a difference in their rural community. This program is open to individuals ages 18-29 that currently reside in rural Ontario.
Up to 30 motivated young adults will be selected by application to join the program. The chosen individuals will participate in a series of developmental training webinars that will foster online connections for a customized, experiential event. This will support them to take action on a challenge/opportunity that they have helped their community to select. Additional personalized coaching will take place, as-needed, either in-person, phone or via email.
Predation by wildlife is a year-round problem in rural Ontario with two peak periods in spring and late summer. OMAFRA has developed the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program to help farmers who lose livestock due to wild animals killing or injuring their stock. This resource offers training materials and suggestions for farmers to help discourage wildlife from attacking.
Recently a farmer from northern Ontario demonstrated the effectiveness of a couple of these methods. There was an incident in which a pack of large grey wolves were attacking beef cattle on the farm. The producer had contracted a trapper but the attacks continued. The farmer called an OMAFRA advisor asking for help. The advisor suggested using a combination of flashing lights and noise to discourage the wolves as demonstrated in the video below.