Citizens in Guelph, Ontario kicked off Eat Think Vote 2019 with a bang, in an event that saw participation from all the major political parties, with 100 attendees filling the seats and even standing in the hallways!
The politicians present were Aisha Jahangir of the NDP, Lloyd Longfield of the Liberal Party, and Steve Dyck of the Green Party. Although they could not be present, Ashish Sachan of Conservative Party and Mark Paralovos of the People’s Party submitted their answers following the event.
The panel spoke to issues related to food insecurity, food sovereignty and food accessibility, which was followed by an open Q&A session. The enthusiastic crowd lined up to continue speaking to candidates even after scheduled discussions wrapped up.
Here’s what the candidates had to say on the topic of food insecurity, starting with the Aisha Jahangir, NDP (alphabetical order):
The federal government has the ability to ensure everyone in Canada have access to food without having to worry about when/where they can eat next. The NDP commits to a National Food Policy (and is) committed to having a comprehensive plan that will tackle all aspects of food insecurity. Indigenous communities are especially hindered by food insecurity – injustice is getting worse; we need to ensure a better government response.
– Aisha Jahangir, NDP
From the Lloyd Longfield, Liberal Party:
Food is affordable in Canada, but not everyone can afford food; the root problem is poverty.
Liberals have a national poverty reduction strategy, to reduce poverty by 20% by 2020. This goal has already been achieved. The next goal is 50% poverty reduction by 2025. Canada child benefit and economic policies have already brought 300,000 children out of poverty.
– Lloyd Longfield, Liberal Party
From Steve Dyck, Green Party:
We can grow an abundance of food in this area (but) our system is broken. Too much of the food we grow is wasted and people who need food don’t have access to it. The Green Party has a fully developed plan on having more local food production, more farmers, more food (…) (We need to) create local farm systems to ensure we are creating enough food locally that everyone has access to nutritious food.
– Steve Dyck, Green Party
From Ashish Sachan, Conservative Party:
The complexity of the food security issue, to have consistent access to adequate food, is evident from the fact that we are talking about food insecurity in 2019 in a country that is as rich as Canada, and as advanced and developed as Canada.
– Ashish Sachan, Conservative Party
From Mark Paralovos, People’s Party:
I think making the cost of everyday living lower is the responsibility of the federal government. I think this can be done with good policies like removing the carbon tax. It does not reduce emissions; it just increases the price to the consumer. We can also lower the prices of everyday grocery items by unwinding supply management responsibly and allowing our milk, poultry and eggs to be sold at competitive market prices.
– Mark Paralovos, People’s Party
For a full transcript of the event, please click here.
Bravo to the teams at Arrell and The SEED for bringing together a diverse crowd, including students, clients of The SEED, and many others interested in making food an election issue.
This is just one of many events that will be taking place across the country in the weeks leading up to this fall’s federal election. Check out our calendar of events to see how you can join the conversation in your community. Make your voice heard this election season, and let’s #EatThinkVote!
Sustain Ontario (July 26th, 2019).
CFRU 93.3FM Food Farm Talk Radio (August 8th, 2019 at 10 a.m)
Guelph Mercury (August 11th, 2019)
CBC Kitchener Waterloo Radio (August 13th, 2019)
CBC News (August 13th, 2019)
Guelph Mercury (August 14th, 2019)
Guelph Today (August 14th, 2019)
Global News (August 14th, 2019)
CFRU 93.3FM Food Farm Talk Radio (August 16th, 2019 at 10 AM)