World Food Day Throne Speech

Eric Chaurette of Inter Pares and Food Secure Canada crafted a brilliant alternative to the Throne Speech (of two weeks ago). Wouldn’t we all be so proud if this is what we heard, rather than what we did? 

For direct link: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/10/16/a-world-food-day-throne-speech/

(See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-SrgW5BLV0&feature=youtu.be for Wayne Roberts’ Rendition.) 

“Honourable Senators, Members of the House of Commons, ladies and gentlemen,

I welcome the Members of Parliament gathered before me, whom I am confident will fulfill their responsibility to serve the public interest on behalf of all Canadians.

As many of you know, Parliament resumes on a very special day: World Food Day. This day is celebrated around the world to mark the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at the United Nations, and to help increase understanding and promote solutions to global hunger.

In 1996, governments around the world pledged to halve world hunger by 2015. The FAO now estimates that 842 million people – 1 in 8 people – are hungry, and these rates are set to increase with climate change. Hunger is also increasingly a problem here in Canada, where nearly 3 million people are food insecure. In a country as prosperous as Canada, this is scandalous.

Our government also understands that the current model of agriculture is unsustainable, both for family farms and the environment. Canada lost nearly 18,000 farms between 2001 and 2006, and the trend is not reversing. Industrial agriculture is killing our soils, polluting our water, and is also a lead contributor to climate change.

Our government therefore pledges to work with Canadians to fix our broken food system.

Over the next year, we will develop regulations and establish incentives to strengthen local ecological food systems. We will also support farmers, through targeted investment and training programs, in a widespread shift to ecological production in both urban and rural settings. We will also establish policies to facilitate the entry of new farmers into agriculture.

Our government understands that hunger is a symptom of the broader problem of poverty. Canadians should never have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries. Our government pledges to enact a strong federal poverty elimination and prevention program, with measurable targets and timelines, to ensure Canadians can better afford healthy food.

Our government realizes that Canada is the only G8 country without a national meal program for children. Our government promises to act on this by creating a nationally funded Children and Food strategy (including school meal programs, school gardens, and food literacy programs) to ensure that all children at all times have access to the food required for healthy lives.

Finally, our government understands that for all of the above measures to work, they will need a coherent federal food policy that guarantees universal access to healthy and ecological food. Our government recognizes that this federal food policy can only work if we ensure that members of the vibrant food movement have a place at the table, so we can work together to put an end to hunger in this vast country of ours.

Honourable Senators and Members of the House of Commons, let us work together, across party lines, to rebuild our country into one where no one is hungry, where farmers and fishers prosper, where we care for the land and water and where Canadians can be proud once again of being a caring nation.”  (retrieved from: http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2013/10/16/a-world-food-day-throne-speech/)

See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-SrgW5BLV0&feature=youtu.be for Wayne Roberts’ Rendition. 

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How do you feel about genetically modified foods?

Monsanto is being recognized, at an international level, for the work that they do in developing and promoting GMOs as a solution to global food security. Check out this year’s World Food Prize nomination (World Food Prize Foundation.  http://www.worldfoodprize.org/index.cfm?nodeID=25293), for more information.

If you are interested in the issue, or firmly planted on the opposing side, there is a March against Monsanto, Halifax, Saturday October 12,  2:00 pm.

March will begin and end at Sackville Landing, located at 1650 Lower Water Street.  After our awareness march, there will be several speakers and hopefully a seed giveaway.

The March against Monsanto’s goal is to spread awareness about the harmful effects of genetically modified organisms, and also to offer solutions, such as buying locally grown, organic food, or better still, growing your own. Our full mission statement can be read here. http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/2013/04/why-do-we-march.html.

If you are unable to attend, you can voice your concern about the role of Monsanto in global and human development in the petition that is circulating in an effort to prevent this jewel (the above-mentioned prize) in Monsanto’s crown.

 

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Put Food Issues on the Table! Party Positions on Community Food Security Issues?

On September 10, 2013, the Nova Scotia Food Security Network, Nova Scotia Food Policy Council, and Nova Scotia Nutrition Council, wrote a letter to the leaders of each party requesting that they state a position on a series of community food security issues in Nova Scotia. Each of the parties has given their official responses. Please see the links below to view the Letter to Party Leaders 2013 as well as the “Put food issues on the table”  press release issued to publicize the party responses to this letter, which are included in full below.

NDP Response

Green Party Response

Liberal Response

PC Response

Atlantica Response

 

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Welcome to the NS Food Policy Council.

The Nova Scotia Food Policy Council was formed in 2010 by citizens of Nova Scotia concerned about the future of our food supply.  No policy for Food Security or Food Sovereignty currently exist for our Province.

To that end, the NS Food Policy Council was formed to fill that void and create guidelines for the future development and protection of our food system.

Our Current Chair:  Edith Callaghan (See “About” for more on who we are) 

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Throw the Oceans a Line

Pardon the pun, but the oceans are begging for us to let up a little. Yesterday was World Oceans Day and in honour of that, we’re passing on a link to the David Suzuki Foundations seafood pledge — not to eat more seafood, no — but a pledge to select your seafood wisely, as you do all your food, right? If you sign the pledge, you get a nice not of thanks with a list of great resources that will help you make your decisions wise when selecting seafood. 

Check it out: http://action2.davidsuzuki.org/seafood-pledge

Can’t commit to the pledge but want to know more about choosing your seafood wisely?

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Edmonton has a Food Policy Council

Edmonton is taking applications for its new food policy council. http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/05/14/city-of-edmonton-taking-applications-for-its-new-food-council/ 

Time for one in Nova Scotia? 

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CUPE members are SHIFTing

The 10% shift is growing and gaining momentum.  C’mon… everyone else is doing it!

Check out how CUPE (the Canadian Union of Public Employees) is organizing a 10% shift.  (http://www.novashift.ca/index.htm)

Are you a CUPE member? Join up!  No, then join us.

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