Federal Candidate Responses to “Good Food for All” / Réponses des candidats à la lettre « Aliments sains pour tous »

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Orleans

Royal Galipeau, Conservative

Andrew Leslie, Liberal

Thanks for taking the time to reach out to us.

A Liberal government is committed to addressing food security in Canada.

We support developing and funding a national strategy to reduce food insecurity in Canada. Access to sufficient, safe, healthy, adequate food is a fundamental human right. A Liberal government will always prioritize protecting the health and safety of Canadians and we will work consultatively with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal organizations, community groups, and producers to ensure that Canadians have access to healthy, affordable food.

Liberals understand the fundamental role that the not-for-profit sector and civil society play in both policy development and program delivery. A Liberal government will work in partnership with organizations such as yours to explore more effective solutions to the most pressing challenges facing Canada and Canadians and use your valuable and hands on experience and expertise to determine the best solutions for the good of Canadians.

Further, we will ensure that civil society organizations have access to the information you need in order to better advocate the government and other organizations on the needs of Canadians.


Raphael Morin, Green

Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada?

Green Party programs and policies will reduce income inequality, and ensure all Canadians have the opportunity to prosper.

We will phase-in a national Guaranteed Livable Income, to ensure that no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity. Through the Council of Canadian Governments we will work with the other levels of government whose inadequate poverty band-aid solutions (such as welfare, disability programs) can be rolled up in order to fund Guaranteed Livable Income.

Providing our most at-risk citizens with the resources they need to make ends meet greatly reduces the burden on our emergency and social services, our health care and criminal justice systems – saving Canadian society money and empowering all citizens to overcome periods of hardship. As an immediate first step, the Green Party would implement a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. By providing a cheque to every Canadian over 18, the carbon fee and dividend system will also assist in providing help to those who need it most.

Will you champion a national school nutrition program?

The Green Party understands that food insecurity is rooted in poverty. Green Party programs and policies will reduce income inequality, and ensure all Canadians have the opportunity to prosper. We will introduce a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI), to ensure that no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity.

The principle of the GLI is simple: to establish an income floor below which no Canadian could fall, but with incentives for recipients to continue working and to earn more. A GLI would provide a regular payment to every Canadian, at a level above the poverty line, to meet Canadians’ basic food and other needs.

The Green Party will also establish a federally funded, community guided school lunch program across Canada to make sure that our children have daily access to healthy local food, and are able to focus fully on their education.

To reduce food insecurity we must first combat poverty. The Green Party has a plan to eliminate poverty and simplify social support in Canada, allowing service providers to focus on the root causes of inequality.

Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people?

Food insecurity in the North is a multifaceted problem. Northerners rely on a mix of traditional wild and market food, and both harvesting and food shipping costs are extremely high. The solutions must come from the communities themselves and the federal program designed to lower food prices in the North, Nutrition North Canada, needs a complete overhaul to be effective .

The Green Party is committed to food sovereignty, to ensure that food policies are developed closely with affected communities, with their needs at the forefront. All Canadians, regardless of where they live, deserve the right to choose healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods. We will work to ensure the food needs of Northern communities are met.

Will you champion support for new farmers?

Markets for local and organic food are growing rapidly, and a new generation of young

Canadians want to try their hand at farming, yet starting out remains a daunting prospect, requiring financial risk that many young would be farmers are unwilling to take. We believe that Canadians who want to enter into agriculture should be supported.

We will fund community supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, small scale farms and producers, and the wineries and microbreweries that Canadians love. Finally, we will shift government supported research away from biotechnology and energy intensive farming and towards organic and sustainable food production. We have the successful twenty plus year legacy of Environmental Farm Plan assessments to build upon in which tens of thousands of family farms voluntarily adopted more efficient farming practices.

The Green Party is also firmly opposed to widespread pesticide use and to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) seed developed to be pesticide resistant. The Green Party will protect and promote the farmer’s right to save and use non GMO seed without cost. We will make GMO labels mandatory to give the public a choice when considering the source of the food they buy.

Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food?

Food issues touch a huge breadth of policy considerations from the environment, to health, to agriculture. The health of Canada’s population today and in the future depends on the environmentally sustainable production of wholesome food. We believe that local organic agriculture must play a role in mitigating climate change, improving human health, protecting water, and providing sustainable livelihoods for citizens. Canada needs an innovative, forward thinking food strategy – one that promotes food security, food safety, and healthy food.

We must also protect the soil we depend upon. The Green Party believes strong national leadership is required to promote agricultural sustainability, energy efficiency and support farm families. This means encouraging the localization and diversification needed to stabilize the food economy without expensive government subsidies. It means thinking local, building soil capacity, encouraging economic diversity, reducing farm debt and increasing the number of young farmers. It means stronger food safety regulations, and an end to pesticide contamination in our food and water.

There will be no food security if we do not combat climate change.

As Elizabeth May has written: “If we fail to act, we risk a downward spiral in which poverty and climate impacts reinforce each other. It is the poorest communities that will suffer the worst effects of climate change, including increased hunger and malnutrition as crop production and livelihoods are threatened. And poverty is a driver of climate change, as desperate communities resort to unsustainable use of resources to meet current needs.”

Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad?

Nearly half of the world’s population lives in absolute poverty (less than $2 USD per day) and 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 USD. Poverty is the single largest determinant of ill health. Each day, an

estimated fifty thousand people die from poverty related causes, and one child dies every three seconds.

Four decades ago, Canada committed to eliminating global poverty, and we set a target of spending 0.7% of our GDP on official development assistance (ODA). We reaffirmed this target in 1992, but we have never come close to meeting our goal. In 2000, Canada and all UN members set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieve by 2015. The first goal is “to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.” Canada’s level of ODA is now one of the lowest of the contributing donor nations. Currently we only contribute 0.3%.

The Green Party supports meeting this target of 0.7% for ODA and believes it can be reached in the next decade through strategic poverty reduction planning. A Green government will work with our global partners to establish clear paths to meet our SDGs. The Green Party was a vocal advocate for placing the MDGs at the centre of Canadian diplomatic and international efforts and we believe that we must do the same with our new targets.


 

Nancy Tremblay, NDP

 

 

Ottawa-Vanier

Mauril Belanger, Liberal
Nira Dookeran, Green
Christian Legeais, Marxist-Leninist
David Piccini, Conservative

Emilie Taman, NDP

I thank for the opportunity for allowing me to address those questions. Please see my responses below:

Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada?

New Democrats are committed to developing and implementing an anti-poverty strategy, and will review all options to ensure that we are on track to lift every Canadian out of poverty. An elected New Democratic government will also make it a priority to tackle issues around income insecurity – the leading contributor to food insecurity in Canada. Eighty percent of food insecure Canadians are wage or salary earners, self-employed, receiving employment insurance or workers compensation or trying to get by on social assistance. Precarious work environments continue to rise, leaving more and more working Canadians and their dependents vulnerable to food and nutritional shortages.

Our food strategy contains policies to improve food security: implementing a whole-of-government approach to food security and reducing reliance on food banks by improving incomes and supports for Canadians. The NDP plan aims to raise the poorest families out of poverty by increasing  the National Child Benefit Supplement and Working Income Tax Benefit; and by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Will you champion a national school nutrition program?

An elected NDP government will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that healthy food is accessible for critical groups like school-age children. We have also committed to banning food and beverage advertising to children, a step which was found to effectively reduce unhealthy food consumption by as much as 13 per cent each week in Quebec.

In addition, a New Democrat government will promote food literacy for better health, and update Canada’s food guide and ensure that it is developed by independent experts. We will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that, by age 16; each Canadian child can plan and prepare at least six nutritious meals.

Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people?

The NDP believes it’s time for a new era in our relationship with Indigenous peoples, a true nation-to-nation relationship, built on respect and meaningful progress when it comes to bringing about change. We will remove the punitive 2% funding cap on social transfers to Indigenous communities imposed by the previous Liberal and Conservative governments and establish a fair fiscal relationship to close the gap between Indigenous communities and Canadians.

Our comprehensive food strategy stresses the importance of healthy and culturally appropriate foods. We will work with communities to restructure relevant federal programs so that they recognize the importance of traditional foods, focusing on community-based solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all program. New Democrats will also fix Nutrition North by immediately including the 50 fly-in communities that are not currently eligible. We will initiate a comprehensive review of the program with Northerners as full partners to develop a long-term, sustainable solution to food insecurity in the North.

Will you champion support for new farmers?

Fewer than one-in-ten Canadian farms are now operated by owners under the age of 40. The NDP will support new and young farmers to ensure the long run sustainability of Canada’s agricultural system, in particular improving access to capital support and enhanced skills training. We will invest $85 million over four years in start-up grants and new entrant support for young and new farmers, including innovative down payment assistance and land access programs.

Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food?

Yes, the NDP has a comprehensive food strategy that connects Canadians from farm to fork. In co-operation with the provinces and territories, our food strategy will bring an integrated approach to federal policy that connects agriculture, rural development, environment, and health and income security. We will improve access to healthy food for every Canadian, ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources, and promote Canadian food here at home and around the world.

Tom Mulcair’s NDP will:

·         Implement our national strategy for healthy, sustainable, quality food.

·         Increase access to local and organic choices.

·         Ensure farmers can make a living.

·         Maintain the highest standards of food safety and labelling.

·         Increase incomes and supports so every family can afford a healthy meal.

Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad?

Our comprehensive food strategy includes policies to support global food security, including utilizing our international aid and partnerships to improve food security in vulnerable countries by using targeted means to support the capacity of small producers. We will also support flexibility in international trade rules to enable developing countries to pursue food security goals.


Ottawa-Centre

Paul Dewar, NDP

Thanks for your message, and for the work that the OFPC is doing to improve our community.

I’ve attached our response to your questionnaire.

Ottawa Food Policy Council: Good Food for All

How will you champion Good Food for All?

The NDP is proud to be the only party with a comprehensive, pan-Canadian food strategy that prioritizes access to healthy foods for all Canadians. Our food strategy contains policies to improve food security: implementing a whole-of-government approach to food security and reducing reliance on food banks by improving incomes and supports for Canadians. This includes our plan to reinstate the federal minimum wage and progressively raise it to $15 an hour and our plan to raise the poorest families out of poverty through increases to the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Working Income Tax Benefit. Our strategy also includes policies to improve food literacy and to expand the local options available for fresh, healthy produce.

Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada?

New Democrats are committed to developing and implementing an anti-poverty strategy, and will review all options to ensure we are on track to lift every Canadian out of poverty.

Will you champion a national school nutrition program?

An NDP government will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that healthy food is accessible for critical groups like school-age children. We have also committed to banning food and beverage advertising to children, a step which was found to effectively reduce unhealthy food consumption by as much as 13 per cent each week in Quebec.

In addition, a New Democrat government will promote food literacy for better health, and update Canada’s food guide and ensure that it is developed by independent experts. We will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that, by age 16, each Canadian child can plan and prepare at least six nutritious meals.

Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people?

The NDP believes it’s time for a new era in our relationship with Indigenous peoples, a true nation-to-nation relationship, built on respect and meaningful progress when it comes to bringing about change. We will remove the punitive 2% funding cap on social transfers to Indigenous communities imposed by the previous Liberal and Conservative governments and establish a fair fiscal relationship to close the gap between Indigenous communities and Canadians.

Our comprehensive food strategy stresses the importance of healthy and culturally appropriate foods. We will work with communities to restructure relevant federal programs so that they recognize the importance of traditional foods, focusing on community-based solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all program. An NDP government will also fix Nutrition North by immediately including the 50 fly-in communities that are not currently eligible. We will initiate a comprehensive review of the program with Northerners as full partners to develop a long-term, sustainable solution to food insecurity in the North.

Will you champion support for new farmers?

Fewer than one-in-ten Canadian farms are now operated by owners under the age of 40. The NDP will support new and young farmers to ensure the long run sustainability of Canada’s agricultural system, in particular improving access to capital support and enhanced skills training. We will invest $85 million over four years in start-up grants and new entrant support for young and new farmers, including innovative down payment assistance and land access programs.

Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food?

Yes, the NDP has a comprehensive food strategy that connects Canadians from farm to fork. In co-operation with the provinces and territories, our food strategy will bring an integrated approach to federal policy that connects agriculture, rural development, environment, health and income security. We will improve access to healthy food for every Canadian, ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources, and promote Canadian food here at home and around the world.

Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad?

Our comprehensive food strategy includes policies to support global food security, including utilizing our international aid and partnerships to improve food security in vulnerable countries by using targeted means to support the capacity of small producers. We will also support flexibility in international trade rules to enable developing countries to pursue food security goals.


Dean Harris, Libertarian
Damian Konstantinakos, Conservative
Catherine McKenna, Liberal
Thomas Milroy, Green
Stuart Ryan, Communist

 

Ottawa-South/Sud

Dev Balkissoon, Conservative

George Brown, NDP

Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada?

New Democrats are committed to developing and implementing an anti-poverty strategy, and will review all options to ensure that we are on track to lift every Canadian out of poverty. An elected New Democratic government will also make it a priority to tackle issues around income insecurity – the leading contributor to food insecurity in Canada. The NDP plan aims to raise the poorest families out of poverty by increasing the National Child Benefit Supplement and Working Income Tax Benefit; and by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Will you champion a national school nutrition program?

An elected NDP government will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that healthy food is accessible for critical groups like school-age children. We have also committed to banning food and beverage advertising to children. In addition, a New Democrat government will promote food literacy for better health, and update Canada’s food guide and ensure that it is developed by independent experts.

Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people?

Our comprehensive food strategy stresses the importance of healthy and culturally appropriate foods. We will work with communities to restructure relevant federal programs so that they recognize the importance of traditional foods, focusing on community-based solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all program. New Democrats will also fix Nutrition North by immediately including the 50 fly-in communities that are not currently eligible. We will initiate a comprehensive review of the program with Northerners as full partners to develop a long-term, sustainable solution to food insecurity in the North.

Will you champion support for new farmers?

The NDP will support new and young farmers to ensure the long-run sustainability of Canada’s agricultural system. In particular, we will improve access to capital support and enhanced skills training. We will invest $85 million over four years in start-up grants and new entrant support for young and new farmers, including innovative down payment assistance and land access program.

Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food?

The NDP has a comprehensive food strategy that connects Canadians from farm to fork. In cooperation with the provinces and territories, our food strategy will bring an integrated approach to federal policy that connects agriculture, rural development, environment, and health and income security. We will improve access to healthy food for every Canadian, ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources, and promote Canadian food here at home and around the world.

Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad?

Our comprehensive food strategy includes policies to support global food security, including utilizing our international aid and partnerships to improve food security in vulnerable countries by using targeted means to support the capacity of small producers. We will also support flexibility in international trade rules to enable developing countries to pursue food security goals.


 

David McGuinty, Liberal
John Redins , Green
Larry Wasslen, Communist
Damien Wilson, Libertarian

 

Ottawa-West/Ouest-Nepean

Abdul Abdi, Conservative
Sam Heaton, Marxist-Leninist

Marlene Rivier, NDP

Thank you for your email on this important subject.

Following through on a 2011 election promise, in 2014 the NDP launched its pan-Canadian food strategy titled “Everybody Eats”. After three years of outreach, the release of this strategy positioned the NDP as the only party in Canada with a comprehensive plan to meet the challenges facing agriculture and food security. The NDP strategy puts forward practical policies to ensure that Canadians eat well, that our agricultural communities are sustainable for generations, and that Canadian products find growing markets.

You can read the NDP’s Pan-Canadian Food Strategy at http://www.ndp.ca/food-strategy. The following are excerpts from the Strategy in order to respond to your specific questions..

New Farmers

Ease entrance barriers for new and young farmers Ensure that young and new farmers can access the capital and land they need to gain entry to the farming sector, including through consultation with all sectors. Promote best practices in incubator programs and shared risk models. Provide educational tools and support for succession planning between generations. Support farmers with young entrant hiring, enhanced skill training and mentorship programs. Review the tax code so that it supports new entrants into farming, such as through an increase in the restricted farm losses exemption.

Food is not just a commodity; it is a human necessity. The federal government needs to work with the provinces and territories to implement a whole-of-government approach to food security and to ensure that healthy meals are accessible to all Canadians.

Pan-Canadian School Nutrition Program

Ensure that every child has a healthy meal Work with industry and the provinces and territories to establish a Pan-Canadian School Nutrition Program, sourced locally as much as possible, with excellent nutritional standards.

Reduce reliance on food banks. Implement a whole-of-government approach to food security. Improve incomes and supports for working families, so that they can spend more of their household budgets on healthy food.

Access to Good Food for First Nation, Metis and Inuit people

Work with all levels of government to identify where healthy food is inaccessible and address the unique needs of urban and rural communities. Make healthy and culturally appropriate food more accessible in the North, on reserves, and in remote communities. Assess the potential of farming in northern communities by supporting existing agriculture innovation projects across Canada’s North, and support successful initiatives as economic diversification for Canada’s northern, Aboriginal and rural communities. Increase the availability of research funding that addresses food security in the North and that considers the impacts of environmental contaminants in northern food chains.

Canada’s Role in Good Food Abroad

Ensure growing markets for Canadian products at home and abroad Canadian products are some of the best in the world, and the federal government should make the targeted investments needed to promote them around the globe.

Invest in market development for Canadian products. Create a Canadian market secretariat to build market development for Canadian products. Ensure authentication and verification of source claims and labels so that the Canadian brand remains high quality. Work with the provinces and territories to address inter-provincial/ territorial barriers to trade in Canadian products. Lead the way in the early adoption and support of regional and Canada brand products through federal procurement policies. Develop access-to-market strategies for small and large producers.

Promote Canadian products around the world through trade. Ensure that trade negotiations secure real and meaningful market access for Canadian exporters while protecting the supply-managed agricultural sectors. Provide better supports for Canadian agricultural exporters to access global markets, including through trade facilitation offices. Work to identify and address particular barriers of small and medium Canadian exporters, including organic farmers. Work in international fora to develop support for, and to improve compliance with, the highest standards of health and safety regulations.

Support global food security Utilize our international aid and partnerships to improve food security in vulnerable countries by using targeted means to support capacity of small producers–including through technology transfer, skills development, sharing research on nutrition and crop productivity, promoting sustainable production methods and supporting a whole value chain approach. Support flexibility in international trade rules to enable developing countries to pursue food security goals. Provide support to developing countries for participation in rulemaking fora regarding food safety standards and compliance.

Again, thank you for writing and providing me the opportunity to address your questions. If you feel it would be helpful to have a discussion, please let us know.


Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage

Anita Vandenbeld, Liberal

Response from Anita Vandenbeld, Liberal Candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean

How will you champion Good Food for All?
Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada?
Will you champion a national school nutrition program?
Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people?
Will you champion support for new farmers?
Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food?
Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad?

A Liberal government is committed to addressing food security in Canada. We support developing and funding a national strategy to reduce food insecurity in Canada. Access to sufficient, safe, healthy, adequate food is a fundamental human right. A Liberal government will always prioritize protecting the health and safety of Canadians and we will work consultatively with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal organizations, community groups, and producers to ensure that Canadians have access to Liberals understand the fundamental role that the not-for-profit sector and civil society play in both policy development and program delivery. A Liberal government will work in partnership with these organizations to explore more effective solutions to the most pressing challenges facing Canada and Canadians in order to determine the best solutions for the good of Canadians. Further, we will ensure that civil society organizations have access to the information they in order to better advocate the government and other organizations on the needs of Canadians. We will make Statistics Canada fully independent with a mandate to collect data needed by the private sector, other orders of government, not-for-profits, and researchers, in order to support good decision-making. We will consult broadly and work with a strengthened Statistics Canada to make available additional data needed by businesses, municipalities, the not-for-profit sector, and the public. This would include more detailed labour market information, child development data, and statistics on natural capital. We will also immediately restore the mandatory long-form census.


 

 

Nepean

Chandra Arya, Liberal
Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada?
It is unacceptable that in a country as successful and prosperous as Canada, there are so many who struggle with the basic necessities of life, including access to safe and sufficient food.
Liberals  know that there is an inextricable link between food security and issues of poverty and income security. Healthy populations can only be achieved when adequate income, safe and secure food sources, and housing and infrastructure are well established. A Liberal government will make the necessary investments to ensure these outcomes.
A Liberal government will help those that need it most. We will introduce the Canada Child Benefit—which gives up to $533 tax-free each month per child. As an income-tested benefit, the Canada Child Benefit gradually phases out to ensure that it is targeted to the middle class and those working hard to join it. All families, with children, that have annual household incomes below $150,000 will receive more in monthly child benefit payments than under the current Conservative childcare benefit. We will also provide more help to lower-income Canadians. Instead of sending government cheques to millionaires, a Liberal government will use that money to lift 315,000 Canadian children out of poverty.
Today, one in four Canadian households is paying more than it can afford for housing – or more than the recommended limit of 30 percent of income. Without affordable housing, many Canadians simply cannot make ends meet. It makes it harder to look for work, care for children, or to get and keep a job. Stable, decent housing is essential to a strong economy, and is crucial for the middle class and those working hard to join it. A Liberal government will invest in a National Housing Strategy that makes direct investments in affordable housing, provides tax incentives to expand affordable rental housing, improves data collection, reviews policies on housing in high-priced markets, and offers more flexibility for new home buyers. As part of our new, ten-year investment of nearly $20 billion in social infrastructure, we will prioritize significant new investment in affordable housing and seniors facilities. This investment will renew federal leadership in housing, help build more housing units and refurbish existing ones, renew current co-operative agreements, and provide operational funding support for municipalities, including renewing support for Housing First initiatives that help homeless Canadians find stable housing. We will direct the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support construction by the private sector, social enterprises, co-ops, and the not-for-profit sector of new, affordable rental housing for middle- and low-income Canadians.
We will also invest more money to ensure that vulnerable populations with higher rates of poverty—such as seniors, Indigenous Peoples, and Canadians facing illness—are given more support.
Today, a Canadian who works their entire adult life can retire at age 65 with a maximum pension from the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan of $1,065 per month. Most Canadians do not even receive this much; the average benefit right now under the CPP is only $618 per month. This is not enough. A Liberal government will take direct action and work with the provinces and territories to provide Canadians with a more secure retirement. We will restore the eligibility age for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement to 65, putting an average of $13,000 annually into the pockets of the lowest income Canadians as they become seniors. We will also immediately increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for single, lower income seniors by ten percent, providing up to an additional $920 per year for Canada’s lowest income seniors.
The Liberal Party of Canada recognizes that the current Employment Insurance system is not working for those who need it, and we are committed to change that will ensure that the federal governments supports Canadians when they need it most. A Liberal government will be committed to ensuring those who need EI benefits can access them quickly and reliably. We will reduce the waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits to one week from two and end the higher 910-hour eligibility penalty for new workers and those re-entering the workforce, stopping the discrimination that makes it harder for some of Canada’s most precarious workers—including people who have left the workforce due to illness—from accessing the benefits that help them get back into the workforce. A Liberal government will be there for Canadians when they need it most.
A Liberal government will immediately re-engage with First Nations in a renewed, respectful and inclusive Nation-to-Nation process to advance progress on priorities identified by First Nations, including housing, infrastructure, health and mental health care, community safety and policing, child welfare, high levels of poverty and a disproportionate lack of educational and economic opportunities for Indigenous people in Canada. We will make sure the Kelowna Accord – and the spirit of reconciliation that drove it – is embraced, and that its objectives are met in line with today’s challenges.
 
Will you champion a national school nutrition program?
Liberals are committed to ending food insecurity in Canada and will work with the provinces and territories to provide real solutions to this pressing issue. We know that Canadians rightly expect the federal government to offer leadership on this and many other challenges facing Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The problems that we face cannot be resolved solely from Ottawa. They require a true partnership between the federal and provincial governments; one based on respect for the jurisdictions of the provinces and territories. This requires open and ongoing dialogue. That’s why Justin Trudeau has committed to holding an annual meeting with all the Premiers to tackle the many issues that straddle provincial/federal divide.
The Liberal Party has a plan for real change which includes, as detailed above, the Canada Child Benefit and middle-class tax cut. We will also provide more help to lower-income Canadians. Instead of sending government cheques to millionaires, a Liberal government will use that money to lift 315,000 Canadian children out of poverty.
We will do our part to help Canadian children live healthier lives, with less exposure to known health risks. To help families make better food choices, we will:
  • introduce new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those now in place in Quebec;
  • bring in tougher regulations to eliminate trans fats, similar to those in the U.S., and to reduce salt in processed foods; and
  • improve food labels to give more information on added sugars and artificial dyes in processed foods.
To help Canadian children avoid and manage known health risks, we will increase funding to the Public Health Agency of Canada by $15 million in each of the next two years, to support a national strategy to increase vaccination rates and raise awareness for parents, coaches, and athletes on concussion treatment. This will be based on the best science and will support existing provincial and territorial efforts.
We will introduce plain packaging requirements for tobacco products, similar to those in Australia and the United Kingdom.
 
Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people?
Liberals know access to sufficient, safe, healthy, adequate food is a fundamental human right and are committed to ensuring all Canadians have access to healthy, affordable food.
A Liberal government will work in partnership with impacted communities to address the food insecurity crisis in the North and remote communities in Canada. The Nutrition North Canada (NNC) food subsidy must be expanded to include the other communities that require it. This long-standing and shocking lack of accountability and oversight must be fixed so that savings are being passed on to Northerners.
As noted above, a Liberal government will also experiment with new approaches to existing problems and we will stop funding initiatives that are no longer effective and invest program dollars in those that are of good value. Liberals know that only through regular program assessments based on evidence and facts can the federal government ensure that its programs and policies are actively helping Canadians who need it most.
We will also invest in Canada’s North, to help northern Canadians with the high cost of living, and help our northern economies grow. Canada’s North is a vast and beautiful part of the world, home to a rich culture and tremendous economic potential. Because of its isolation, however, it is also a very expensive place to live, and access to healthy and affordable food can be greatly improved.
The Northern Residents Deduction was designed to help mitigate these higher costs, and help attract workers to the North. Unfortunately, the deduction amount has not kept pace with inflation, making its help less valuable to those who need it. To help northern residents with higher costs of living, and to help our northern economies grow, we will increase the residency component of the deduction by 33 percent to a maximum of $22 per day. We will also index this benefit so that it keeps pace with inflation.
To ensure that northern families have access to affordable, healthy food, we will increase investments in the Nutrition North program by $40 million, over four years. We will also work with northern and remote communities to ensure that the program is more transparent, effective, and accountable to northerners and other Canadians.
As part of new, ten-year investments in social infrastructure and green infrastructure, we will prioritize investment in affordable housing and climate change preparedness, both of which are important to the quality of life for northern Canadians.
 
Will you champion support for new farmers?
Liberals understand and value the key role that farmers play in Canada’s economy and the vital part they play in providing safe, healthy and affordable food to Canadians across the country.
We recognize the need to motivate and train more young Canadians for careers in agriculture. In today’s changing economy, it is critical that Canadians have the opportunity to improve their skills and work credentials. This not only ensures a labour force that meets Canada’s needs, but also that Canadians have good-paying, middle class jobs well into the future. A Liberal government will improve investment in skills training, through a $750 million annual increase in funding for training programs, delivered in partnership with the provinces and territories.
Farmers are concerned about the under-funding of federal-provincial “business risk management” tools, as well as program design changes which make them less accessible and less useful. A new Liberal government will work with producers and provincial governments to assess whether the current suite of farm income safety nets is adequately meeting the needs of Canadian farmers when they are faced with serious challenges beyond their control.
An external review of the entire Canadian Transportation Act is under way and due to report by the end of this year. This opportunity must be seized to upgrade the deficient grain handling and transportation system. As soon as the review report is available, the reaction and advice of grain producers needs to be sought on an urgent basis. The goal of a Trudeau-led Liberal government will be competent, forward-looking system that is competitive, transparent, accountable and geared for growth. Since producers always end up paying all the costs, their interests need to be effectively represented in the system’s design and operation.
 
Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food?
We will help Canada’s agriculture sector be more innovative, safer, and stronger.
Canada’s farmers and ranchers are the foundation of our food sector. The work that they do to feed Canada and the world is vital, but government support is needed to help them with challenges ranging from transportation to water management to research and food safety.
To attract investment and create good jobs in food processing, we will invest $160 million, over four years, in an Agri-Food Value Added Investment Fund. This will provide technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new value-added products that reflect changing tastes and market opportunities.
To support innovation in the agricultural sector, we will invest an additional $100 million, over four years, in agricultural research. To better allocate research funding, we will establish a transparent process that involves food producers.
We will invest an additional $80 million, over four years, in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more food safety inspections of domestic and imported foods.
We will continue to defend Canadian interests during trade negotiations, including supply management.
We will also work with provinces, territories, and other willing partners, to better address water and soil conservation and development issues, including investments in appropriate infrastructure.
 
Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad?
We will refocus our development assistance on helping the poorest and most vulnerable.
Over the past ten years, Stephen Harper has steadily shifted aid away from the world’s poorest countries, particularly in Africa.
We will consult with Canadian and international aid organizations to review current policies and funding frameworks that will refocus our aid priorities on poverty reduction.
As part of rebalancing our priorities, we will ensure that every dollar committed to international development actually gets spent. We will not allow funds to lapse, as Stephen Harper has done.
We will also ensure that Canada’s valuable aid initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) is driven by evidence and outcomes, not ideology. Closing existing gaps in reproductive rights and health care can and will save lives. We will cover the full range of reproductive health services as part of MNCH initiatives.


David Ascroft, Pirate
Jean-Luc Cooke, Green
Jesus Cosico, Independent

Sean Devine, NDP

Thanks so much for sending me this detailed and thoughtful inquiry. As someone who’s running for office for the first time (all of the 3 main candidates in this election are) it’s been so affirming for me to see such strong statements for advocacy from people such as yourself.

I was very sorry to miss the Eat Think Vote event on Sept 19, though I’m glad to have seen some of our NDP Ottawa candidates were present. It wasn’t for lack of desire that I couldn’t be there. I was just double-booked.

As evidence of our commitment to your important Good Food for All initiative, please take a look at the attached statement affirming our position on this issue. You’ll see that it addresses specific initiatives and concerns regarding the promotion of a national food policy, towards moving towards zero hunger in Canada, to the promotion of affordable food in the North, healthy school food programs, and more.

Eat Think Vote Campaign

National food policy

We need to fix our food system with fresh thinking and innovative, cross-cutting national policies across agriculture, environment, economics and health in order to create healthy, sustainable food system that feeds us all.

Is your party in favour of a national food policy that would take a comprehensive approach (looking at the entire food system) to address the interrelated issues of hunger, unsustainable food production, climate change and unhealthy diets?

If your party forms government, how does it propose to develop a comprehensive national food policy? What role would civil society organizations have in developing the government’s vision and policy?

NDP Response: Yes, the NDP has a comprehensive food strategy that connects Canadians from farm to fork. In cooperation with the provinces and territories, our food strategy will bring an integrated approach to federal policy to connect agriculture, rural development, environment, health and income security. We will improve access to healthy food for every Canadian, ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources, and promote Canadian food here at home and around the world.

The NDP’s comprehensive food strategy was developed based on extensive consultations that included local food policy councils, farmers, dieticians, food security organizations, Indigenous organizations, and other civil society stakeholders. We will work with these same stakeholders, in addition to provinces and territories, municipalities and Indigenous communities, in implementing our vision from coast to coast to coast.

Zero hunger in Canada

Four million Canadians are food insecure, including 1.5 million children. Food insecurity takes a substantial toll on physical and mental health, engendering significant costs to the health care system. While the causes and experiences of food insecurity are complex, the overwhelming factor is poverty, and policy solutions must therefore address income levels. Canadians living in food insecurity need a basic income floor to ensure they can afford sufficient, safe, healthy and culturally appropriate food. If your party forms government, will you commit to studying the feasibility of a basic income, or a guaranteed annual income as an option for dealing with food insecurity?

NDP Response: Our food strategy contains policies to improve food security and ensure that every Canadian can afford a healthy meal. We will implement a whole-of-government approach to food security, reducing reliance on food banks by improving incomes and supports for Canadians, allowing healthy food to be in the reach of every family. This includes our plan to reinstate the federal minimum wage and progressively raise it to $15 an hour and our plan to raise the poorest families out of poverty through increases to the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Working Income Tax Benefit.

An NDP government will also pass An Act to Ensure Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing for Canadians. This Act would legally require the Minister responsible for housing to sit down with the provinces, territories, municipalities, indigenous governments, housing providers, and civil society organizations to create a multi-year strategy to address housing and homelessness. Our Affordable Housing Strategy will be supported by investments of more than $2.7 billion over 4 years in affordable housing and homelessness programs.

Childcare is one of the biggest expenses for families, in some reaching as high as $2,000 a month. We will also create a national affordable childcare program that creates or maintains one million childcare spaces at a cost to parents of $15 a day or less.

New Democrats are committed to developing and implementing an anti-poverty strategy, and will review all options to ensure we are on track to lift every Canadian out of poverty.

Affordable food in the North

Indigenous communities in Northern Canada are experiencing a food security crisis with serious implications for health and well-being. Urgent action is required in the face of this unprecedented public health issue.

Food insecurity in the North is a multifaceted problem. Northerners rely on a mix of traditional (wild) and market food, and both harvesting and food shipping costs are extremely high. The solutions must come from the communities themselves and the federal program designed to lower food prices in the North, Nutrition North Canada, needs a complete overhaul to be effective.

Is your party in favour of using a food sovereignty approach to address food insecurity in the North including:

  • Developing national food policy that includes the northern context, and the recognition of the right to food for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
  • Providing sustainable funding for Community Food Coordinators in all northern communities, as a mechanism to both act at the local level and inform policy.
  • Establishing a basic income floor adjusted to reflect northern costs

If your party forms government, what are your proposals to overhaul Nutrition North Canada to ensure it fulfills its mandate to improve access to perishable nutritious food for northern communities?

NDP Response: The NDP food strategy takes a food sovereignty approach to food security in the North, stressing the importance of healthy and culturally appropriate foods. We will work with communities to restructure relevant federal programs so that they recognize the importance of traditional foods, focusing on community-based solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all program. An NDP government will also support agricultural innovation projects that help northern communities to grow their own food in ecologically sustainable ways.

New Democrats will work to make life more affordable for Northerners by ensuring the Northern Residents Tax Deduction keeps pace with the needs of Northern residents and with inflation.

An NDP government will fix Nutrition North by immediately including the 50 fly-in communities that are not currently eligible. We will also initiate a comprehensive review of the program with Northerners as full partners to develop a long-term, sustainable solution.

Healthy school food program

Canada remains one of the few industrialized countries without a national school food program. Diet-related diseases are on the rise, posing an increasing burden on our healthcare system, consuming 58% of the current healthcare budget in Canada. We have a responsibility to support the future health of our children by helping them to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Only policy coming from the federal government can ensure that a healthy school food program reaches all Canadian school kids.

Is your party supportive of establishing an Universal Healthy School Food Program, cost-shared with other levels of government, that will enable all students in Canada to have access to healthy meals at school every day?

The Coalition for Healthy School Food calculates that an investment of $1 billion dollars over the next five years will be required to implement this program. If your party forms government, how does it propose to implement a Universal Healthy School Food Program?

NDP Response: We are committed to an integrated approach to federal government policies that support healthy eating. Our comprehensive food strategy contains policies to improve food security and ensure that every Canadian can afford a healthy meal. We will implement a whole-of-government approach to food security, reducing reliance on food banks by improving incomes and supports for struggling Canadians, allowing them to spend more of their household budget on healthy food. This includes our plan to reinstate the federal minimum wage and progressively raise it to $15 an hour and our plan to raise the poorest families out of poverty through increases to the National Child Benefit Supplement and the Working Income Tax Benefit.

We will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that healthy food is accessible for critical groups like school-age children. We have also committed to banning food and beverage advertising to children, a step which was found to effectively reduce unhealthy food consumption by as much as 13 per cent each week in Quebec.

In addition, a New Democrat government will promote food literacy for better health, and update Canada’s food guide and ensure that it is developed by independent experts. We will work with the provinces and territories to ensure that, by age 16, each Canadian child can plan and prepare at least six nutritious meals.

Support for new farmers

Agriculture in Canada is facing a succession crisis. More than half of the Canadian farming population is over 55 and 80% are looking to retire in the next 10 years. Three quarters of them have no one to take over the farm. Meanwhile, a new generation of farmers, including those enthusiastically pursuing sustainable and organic methods for local markets, need support. The future food supply in Canada depends in good part on public policy that understands the need for more new farmers.

Does your party agree that more federal supports are needed for new farmers who face significant barriers in accessing capital, land and training?

If your party forms government, what strategies will it pursue to support and encourage a new generation of farmers?

NDP Response: Under the Conservatives, farm debt has hit new records every year, while 30,000 small and medium-sized farms have disappeared. At the same time, fewer than one-in-ten Canadian farms are now operated by owners under the age of 40. It’s clear that the family farm is under increasing pressure, making it harder for children to inherit farms from their parents and for new farmers to break into the market. The NDP will work with farmers to ease barriers for new and young farmers, helping them to gain access to the capital and land they need. More details will be available in our platform.


Tony Seed, Marxist-Leninist
Andy Wang, Conservative

 

Kanata-Carleton

John Hansen, NDP
Karen McCrimmon, Liberal
Walter Pamic, Conservative
Andrew West, Green

 

 

Carleton

Debra Coyne, Green

I am writing in response to your thoughtful questions :
How will you champion Good Food for All?

I and the Green Party of Canada strongly support all the goals you set out. For your information I attach our relevant platform background papers that address the issues you raise:
Fair taxation and a liveable income –  http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy-background-2015/part-a
Agriculture and a food strategy for Canada – http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy-background-2015/part-k
Justice and Reconciliation for Indigenous Peoples – http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy-background-2015/part-s
A prescription for healthier health care – http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy-background-2015/part-e (Includes our support for a national school nutrition program).

I trust that you will find this material useful.

Thank you very much for taking the time to write on these important matters.


 

Kc Laroque, NDP
Pierre Poilievre, Conservative
Chris Rodgers, Liberal

 

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Francis Drouin, Liberal
Steve Fortin, Libertarian
Normand Laurin, NDP
Pierre Lemieux, Conservative

 

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

This riding is not in our survey, but one candidate replied.

Stefan Klietsch, Green

Will you champion a basic income for all who live in Canada? Yes, we of the Green Party support the establishment of a negative income tax, or a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI), a flat benefit that will either be available to all Canadian citizens unconditionally, or else which would phase-out according to higher income classes. The level of the payment will set at a level above poverty, but at a bare subsistence level to encourage additional income generation. No surveillance or follow-up will be required.

Through policy coherence, municipally, provincially and federally, significant savings can be realized, while simultaneously reversing the negatives of a shame-based system that perpetuates poverty. To be cost-effective, however, government will require time to negotiate a coherent program with the provinces/territories and other levels of government. Various ‘poverty-industry’ programs of welfare, including Old Age Security and social assistance, would be collapsed within one simple single payment system, administered through taxes.

However, the Green Party will take time for study, reflection, and support from all three levels of government. We are committed to opening dialogue on the idea, while pursuing short-term measures to make progress in the near term.

As a first step towards a universal GLI, the Green Party supports providing dividends to every Canadian from the carbon fee collected on greenhouse-gas emissions.

Will you champion a national school nutrition program? Yes, we of the Green Party support establishing federally funded, community-guided school lunch programs across Canada to ensure that our children have daily access to healthy local food and can learn about sustainable food production and healthy eating.

Will you champion access to Good Food for First Nation, Inuit and Metis people? Yes, food prices for Canada’s Northern peoples are unacceptably high. We of the Green Party would improve and increase monitoring of indigenous food (e.g. caribou, salmon, etc.) to ensure Inuit and First Nations, particularly pregnant women and nursing mothers, are not being over-exposed to persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals that build up through the global food chain and pool at high levels in the Arctic. We would work to develop collaborative community-based education programs to promote the consumption of food with less toxicity.

Will you champion support for new farmers? Yes, we Greens would ensure that farm support payments are farm-based (not production-based) to encourage more farms without rewarding consolidation for its own sake

Although it contradicts official Green Party policy, I also support phase-out of the quota monopoly in the dairy and poultry industries which imposes steep financial barriers to new business start-ups. The quota market is worth $24 billion for the dairy industry and $7 billion for the poultry industry, abolishment of which would require compensation negotiated with the existing industry to ensure adequate short-term business stability.

A 2014 Conference Board of Canada paper suggests that although the monopoly enables the viability of farms with smaller cow herd sizes, phasing-out the monopoly would increase the overall number of dairy farms through meeting $1 billion extra in liberated Canadian dairy demand and $1.23 billion in new export markets. (World Trade Organization rules currently deem quotas to be “subsidies” under which exports must be regulated against.) Quota-driven debt annually redistributes perhaps $475-$600 million from the dairy industry towards debt issuers. Industry employment could grow as high as by 14% through resulting additional farms.

I have further analyzed the economics of the dairy monopoly in this blog: http://themoderatemoose.com/2015/07/29/supply-mismanagement-and-the-dumping-of-milk/

Will you champion a National Food Strategy that prioritizes Good Food? Yes, we support a National Food Strategy based upon the following:

• Enabling local areas without industrial-scale agriculture to develop area-specific food safety regulations meeting national standards without placing undue financial burdens on local farmers and food processors;

• Assisting in re-establishing the architecture of local food production in canneries, slaughterhouses, and other food processing;

• Encouraging and supporting the consumption of locally-grown food by promoting adequate shelf space in grocery chains for products from local farms and local food processors.

• Preventing the patenting of life forms;

• Reviewing the impacts of abolishing the Canadian Wheat Board and considering re-establishing it to ensure the fair trading of high quality Canadian grains;

• Calling for negotiated agreements with the provinces to secure the preservation of the prime agricultural land in Canada;

• Reinstating the Canada Land Inventory program with adequate funding to update and keep current a comprehensive record of land capability and land use as a vital ongoing aid to local planning;

• Providing sufficient fiscal incentives to other levels of government, including municipalities, to preserve farmlands under their jurisdictions.

• Amending the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mandate to remove any obligation to promote Canadian agri-business, ensuring the focus is on food safety and food safety only, with enhanced resources for inspection and monitoring;

• Eliminating conflict of interest by removing food and agri-business representatives from federal food policy advisory bodies;

• Regulating and labelling the amount of trans fats in our food supply;

• Removing tax deductibility from junk food advertising aimed at children;

• Placing a manufacturer’s levy on sugary drinks, earmarking the revenue to fund healthy living initiatives;

• Strengthening Plant Protection and Health of Animals Programs with measures to ensure the integrity of farm food products;

• Supporting the ‘200 kilometre diet’ and locally grown food through expansion of farmers’ markets and local culinary tourism activities;

• Promoting rooftop gardens, cultivation of green urban space for agriculture, food production in cities and suburbs, and community gardens.

Will you champion Canada’s role in Good Food abroad? Yes, new dairy export liberalization like described above would enhance accessibility of foreign consumers to high-quality Canadian dairy food. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development has criticized the quota system as a barrier to excess dairy being sold for foreign infants abroad, ensuring that excess dairy is only sold as low-price animal feed or even dumped instead.