The Queen's Park Briefing rural bureau took a trip to Kemptville this week for some good ole' fashion farming-themed fun at the 103rd International Plowing Match & Rural Expo.
Most of Ontario's MPPs were there, including members from the Progressive Conservatives, NDP, Liberals and Greens.
The QP Briefing Podcast brought you the sounds, now here are the sights.
The VI-est of the VIPs at this year’s plowing match shared some laughs while posing for pics on their PC-blue tractor. Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Lisa Thompson filled in as the government’s top dog at the event with Premier Doug Ford sticking around in Toronto for slain police officer Const. Andrew Hong’s funeral. Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark played host in his home riding of Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
Stephanie Bowman, the Liberal MPP for the Toronto riding of Don Valley West, hopped aboard a tractor for the first time in decades.
Progressive Conservative MPPs aboard one of the government caucus’ parading wagons were in a jovial mood.
From Kansas to Kemptville, Green Leader Mike Schreiner embraced his rural roots and dominated the plowing match. He was going so fast he’d have been at home on the left lane of the 401.
World-renowned hot and smart city-slicker (and QP Briefing’s own) Aidan Chamandy repeatedly made a fool of himself by asking the dumbest questions about farming and rural life.
NDP MPP Catherine Fife enthusiastically clapped along to whatever song fellow NDPer France Gélinas was dancing to.
Cowboy hats are definitely a rare sighting in Toronto Centre, but NDP MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam knew how to rock one.
The Queen of the Furrow (middle) gave the uninitiated among us a rundown of what the hell a plowing match exactly is. Ernie Hardeman and Lisa Thompson, past and current agriculture ministers, didn’t need the tips. Thompson said she placed second in a Queen of the Furrow competition back in the day (but didn’t give a year). She lost to the woman who’d go on to win the entire thing.
Look at that smile on PC MPP Logan Kanapathi.
The Liberal caucus didn’t have branded swag like the New Democrats and PCs did, but they managed to colour coordinate. Evidently, the whole “politicians shouldn’t wear hats” thing is not a rule the OLP abides by.
Although he was far from his Toronto riding of Don Valley East, Liberal MPP Adil Shamji was like a pig in muck. He wasn’t his caucus’s designated plower — Stephanie Bowman had the honour — but the doctor-by-training was eager to get on the machine and prove his worth. Prove it he did.
—Photos by Charlie Pinkerton. Captions by Charlie Pinkerton and Aidan Chamandy.