Protest at Kemptville

At noon on Sunday April 27 over 200 concerned supporters came out to a grass roots rally of KCAT Alumni and friends in Kemptville to bring attention to the fact that the Wynne Liberals have not gone far enough to save Agricultural Education Programmes at Kemptville College of Agricultural Technology. Co-organizer Wyatt McWilliams stated, “We need to keep the AGRICULTURE programs at the College; the Liberal government has taken the agriculture education out of the college and made it into a college of technology only; only technology programmes such as welding will continue next fall. City folks need to realize we like to eat daily. Our food comes from our local farms and our rural youth need opportunities for agricultural education in Eastern Ontario to continue producing high quality food into the future.”

Bill Smirle, co-organizer, enlisted the crowd’s unanimous support for two primary demands which the group plans to make known to Wynne Monday morning (April 28th); firstly that the Agricultural programs including dairy, equine, horticulture, arboriculture, and food and nutrition, among others, be continued for the coming academic year so that new students be allowed to apply and register. Secondly, that a college facilitator be assigned by April 30th as none is presently in place despite being promised recently by government officials.

KCAT Alumni President Ron Burgess cautioned those present that the impression in the community is the College has been saved, but in reality this is not true. He went on to explain that the agricultural programmes were ignored and thus eliminated in last Tuesday’s announcement by Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ron Duguid.