North Gower farmer gets visit from agriculture minister
Published Tuesday, August 8, 2017 5:29PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 8, 2017 6:52PM EDT
It's been a rough summer for farmers in Eastern Ontario.
Sixth-generation farmer Dwight Foster of North Gower Grains, it's been a summer of frustration.
"There's a lot of crop that's been lost in the last two weeks, but honestly, we've been battling the rain and the water levels all season long," he said.
Less than two weeks after CTV News told Foster's story--one of submerged fields and hundreds of lost acres of crops--the provincial government paid him a visit.
Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal sat down with Foster, local MPP Lisa MacLeod and local farmers, to discuss the heavy rains they've endured.
"I wanted to come and have the opportunity to see first-hand the damage that it's done to the crops," he said.
Many fields in North Gower and other parts of south Ottawa have been wiped out by heavy rain. Foster alone says he's lost 500 acres; about $200,000 worth of crops.
Foster took Leal, MacLeod and others on a driving tour of the area, showing them the damage that high water and flooding has done.
"The crop that's flooded is lost," Foster said. "What we're trying to do is fix issues so that the water in the future can get off the fields."
For him, the frustration lies in the red tape he has encountered when applying to install better drainage systems.
On Tuesday, the agriculture minister pledged to help with that.
"I made a commitment to them ... to take them back to see what we can do to try to address them."
After Tuesday's meeting, Foster was optimistic.
"The high level of red tape that us farmers have to endure, we're very confident that this minister is going to help us get that shoved out of the way."