Pioneers, who were foresters and farmers, built Ontario’s economy and rural and northern communities continue to thrive in these sectors today, centuries later. Much of rural and northern Ontario’s economic survival is tied to these two sectors.
Today, grain farmers and foresters contribute approximately $30 billion dollars to Ontario’s economy. According to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources , forest-based jobs represent 7.1% of total employment in the province, provide an above average percentage of full-time jobs and pay a higher wage than the average as well. As of December 2015, Statistics Canada reports that Ontario’s agriculture sector provides employment to 76,400 Ontarians. Grain farming represents approximately 40,000 of those jobs.
Having an economically sustainable agriculture and forestry sector are key to growing Ontario and maintaining the economic viability of the province’s rural and northern communities.
We will share information here about economic challenges and opportunities facing rural and northern Ontario, specifically the forestry and agriculture sectors.