October 16th, 2020
On World food day, the federal government must ensure people in Canada have the food they need
NDP Critic for Agriculture Alistair MacGregor made the following statement for World Food Day:
"On this World Food Day, we reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on millions of Canadians who are struggling to feed their families. But we know COVID-19 has underscored - not created - the precariousness of our food supply chain and how closely to the margins many Canadian families are living.
The use of food banks continues to rise and so does the price of food. Statistics Canada recently reported that nearly one in seven (14.6%) Canadians are experiencing food insecurity. Households with children reported food insecurity at a rate of almost 20 per cent and Canadians who lost wages due to COVID-19 were almost three times more likely to be food insecure than those who were employed throughout the pandemic. And yet, Canadians are still waiting for this Liberal government to take urgent action.
Recently announced funds to support food banks will help Canadians in times of need but it is not enough and only serves as a band-aid over the underlying issues that the federal government has a responsibility to tackle.
In a country as prosperous as Canada, people shouldn’t be left to struggle without the food they need. That’s why New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to roll out a national strategy to reduce food waste and incentivize the adoption of farm biodiversity and sustainability.
As we build the recovery, the federal government must act as a global leader through the introduction of programs that encourage the use of food production that can feed our growing population, while tackling food insecurity and protecting our planet.
Working with producers and adopting low-input and low-emission approaches, we can reimagine what conventional farming in Canada looks like, we can increase crop yields to feed Canadians and the world’s growing population, and we can do it all without harming workers or our environment."