June 9th, 2015

Conservatives vote against fixing Nutrition North

NDP MP Dennis Bevington (Northwest Territories) made the following statement following the defeat of his motion:

“No Canadian should go hungry.

“This is why New Democrats put forward a motion with practical proposals to fix the Conservatives’ Nutrition North program, which has failed to ensure Northerners have secure access to nutritious and affordable food.

“Canadians living in remote regions pay approximately up to three times more than the national average for food. A New Democrat-triggered Auditor General report found that the Nutrition North program has had minimal impact on food costs; lacked transparency or accountability; and that over 50 communities that should be receiving subsidies under the program are being left out.

“The sad reality is that Nutrition North has failed northerners, many of whom have had to scavenge in dumps just to get something to eat. Worse yet, when New Democrats raised this issue in the House of Commons, the minister pointedly read the newspaper, showing callous indifference to their plight.

“Once again, the Conservatives have put their narrow-minded ideology ahead of what matters to Canadians and have voted against these concrete NDP solutions. This is especially irresponsible when 46 communities in Conservative ridings including 19 in Kenora and five in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River – qualify for subsidies and are not receiving them.

“Tom Mulcair’s NDP knows that Nutrition North program funding must reflect the real circumstances that northerners are facing; and improve the well-being of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians in Northern Canada. We have a responsibility to ensure that programs designed for the North are adequately servicing its people.”