Iggy Pushes for National Food Policy

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KING TOWNSHIP, Ont. — Standing at an Ontario farm in place of a campaign stump this week, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff committed to helping Canadians eat healthier, home-grown food through a National Food Policy based on what he calls healthy eating, safe food, sustainable farm incomes, environmental farmland stewardship and international leadership.

“We need more home-grown food on Canadian tables — because our health and our economy depend on it,” said Ignatieff. “Our farmers produce the healthiest, safest, highest-quality foods in the world — and we’ll help them get more of their products on our tables with Canada’s first comprehensive National Food Policy.”

According to Ignatieff, the Liberal plan would feature: $80-million for a buy local program encouraging farmers’ markets, along with a  $40-million program to help some 250,000 children access healthy local foods; $50-million for the improvement of food inspection; systems that would seek to provide farmers with more sustainable incomes; a strengthening of Canada’s position in terms of environmental farming and stewardship; and the promotion of Canadian food abroad, particularity in Africa and some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

Farming and food production has been relegated to the back burner in recent elections in favour of healthcare, the economy and other hot-button issues, but local food devotees and farmers alike will surely be pleased with this salvo, as they continue to push the issue onto the national stage.  

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