Meet the candidates: Huron-Bruce – Paul Klopp

Paul Klopp, NDP
Hometown: municipality of Bluewater. Ward of Hay.
Occupation: farmer
Political experience: Provincial: M.P.P. Huron and Parliamentary Assistant Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Rural Affairs 1990-1995. Municipal: two-term deputy mayor, Municipality of Bluewater and Huron County councillor. Huron County Federation of Agriculture: past-president, and past regional director; presently director-at-large and chair of finance committee.
Community involvement: past-president and current board member of Zurich Agricultural Society; board member of Huron County Pork Producers; committee member of Ontario Soybean Growers’ Marketing Board (District 8); supporter of local hockey and skating clubs and other community events; board member Hay Communications Cooperative Ltd.

What is the best way to stimulate the economy in your riding?
One of the best ways to stimulate the economy in Huron-Bruce is to get serious about solving the farm income problem. Farm income has been at record low levels. Because of high input costs, and low commodity prices, it is costing farmers more to produce food than what they’re getting paid for it. This means that farmers aren’t investing in new equipment, or purchasing household goods from the local stores, etc. Negative ripple effects extend to agribusiness. A risk management program (RMP) is a good start to ensure that Ontario farmers have the dollars where they need to be, when they need to be there. The NDP would commit $300 million each year, starting with the 2007 crops, and this would include a retroactive payment for the 2006 crop year. This would be a good kick-start for the economy in Huron-Bruce. There would be positive ripple effects: when farmers do well, the rural economy does well.

What is the biggest environmental issue facing your riding and what can be done to solve it?
Waste management problems are the largest environmental issues.
Sewage: municipalities need money to upgrade their systems. The NDP would continue with more aggressive funding proj