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Wilmot resident proposes new committee in response to possible expropriation

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After hundreds of people showed up Friday at a community meeting discussing possible land expropriation in Wilmot Township, a community member is proposing an idea to close the gap between council and farmers.

“After seeing the amount of support, I thought maybe that there's an opportunity to try and find different ways to ensure the agricultural community's voice is heard in our township,” said Wilmot resident Rory Farnan.

On Monday, Farnan sent a letter to the township asking for the creation of an “Agricultural Advisory Committee.”

The letter states given the size of the industry, they should have a voice in the room.

“Referencing the Region of Waterloo’s 2020 Bulletin of Census for Agriculture, revenue in Wilmot grew from $139.7 million dollars in 2011 to $181.90 million in 2020. And yet given its growth, a significant contribution to our local economy, it is my belief that we are undervaluing the sector, which requires a seat at the table to help shape its future,” Farnan said in the letter.

Advisory committees are common in municipal government and are often used to help guide council on topics like heritage and economic development.

“It allows council to stay current on agricultural issues and topics that are happening in the township,” Farnan said in an interview with CTV News.

“And it allows the agricultural industry in turn to provide council with advice or recommendations on how they would go about making decisions that would adversely affect the agricultural industry.”

The Township of Wilmot said their clerk received Farnan’s letter Monday and distributed it to members of council that afternoon. The township thanked the resident for the submission and said at this point, they have no further comment.

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