An in-camera discussion at UBC two years ago was one of six stakeholder meetings held across the country that helped shape the recently released Food Policy for Canada.
The meeting on September 5, 2017 was one of six that followed an online consultation that attracted nearly 45,000 responses, including 7,700 from BC. The closed session included representatives from the BC Agriculture Council, local government and Indigenous communities as well as the academic, health and retail sectors.
The new policy includes a number of initiatives backed by a federal commitment of $134 million, with a view to providing Canadians with a “sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food.” The centrepiece is a $25 million Buy Canadian campaign aimed at connecting consumers with domestic foods and building trust and pride in Canada’s bounty.
Complementing the food policy is a $50 million infrastructure fund for community projects that provide up to $25,000 to “improve access to safe, healthy and culturally diverse food.”
Staff with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada told Country Life in BC that several existing federal and provincial programs complement the new national food policy. These include BC’s Community Food Action Initiative launched in 2005 by the BC Ministry of Healthy Living and the federal BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.
BC nominations are also invited for an advisory council being established to help Ottawa address the present and future challenges of food systems in Canada.