FOOD SECURITY

ALISTAIR MacGREGOR

In the House

On World Food Day, I rose in the House of Commons to demand action on a National Food Policy. See the exchange here:

In a country as wealthy as Canada, it is shameful that four million Canadians, including 1.15 million children, are living with food insecurity. The use of food banks continues to rise as does the price of food, yet Canadians are still waiting for this Liberal government to act with urgency.

In 1976, Canada signed onto the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which includes a right to food. Yet, more than 40 years later, too many Canadians are still having difficulty putting food on the table.

It is clear that we must protect both our local and national food security and make it easier for farmers to farm in a more sustainable way. That is why, as the NDP Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food, I was pleased to introduce Bill C-430 An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (organic farming tax credit) earlier this year. The idea for the bill came from two grade 11 students through my “Create Your Canada” contest.

Farming can play a major role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. In order to have that impact, our farming future must be one where conventional and organic farming methods come together, adopting techniques to reduce the use of harmful pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, increasing soil carbon sequestration and reducing agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The NDP has long called for a comprehensive Pan-Canadian Food Strategy to improve access to healthy food for every Canadian and ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources for generations to come. In 2017, I was honoured to present to Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, my consultation report on Agriculture and Food Policy which was based on feedback and written submissions received from constituents. Click here to read the Minister’s reply.

Last fall, I welcomed NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to a town hall to discuss supply management and the New Democrats’ vision for a federal food policy.

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