Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands) released the Green Party’s plan to support farming communities and increase the quality and safety of food products for Canadians.

“We believe that healthy and affordable food for Canadians and supporting family farms are not mutually exclusive goals,” said Ms. May. “Unfortunately, the Harper Conservatives have encouraged the dumping of low-quality produce in export markets and reduced food safety through significant budget cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). They have done so while continuing to pay farmers little to nothing for their efforts.”

JiCi Lauzon, Green Party candidate (Pierre-Boucher – Les Patriotes—Verchères), continued: “My riding has historically been known as the ‘Grain Basket of Lower Canada’, as it provided so much food for our ancestors. Respect for cultivating the land in our region is first and foremost, as 80% of my riding is farmland. I am very honoured to represent a party that places the defense of the earth, water, and biodiversity first.”

“I can assure my constituents that I would work with the many farming communities in my riding to support them. I believe that a government must base any policy on empirical science, especially in an area as important as agriculture and food safety.”

Ms. May continued: “The Green Party has a clear plan to support family farms and communities. We must strengthen the mandate of CFIA, reduce our dependence on short-sighted and damaging chemicals, encourage the production of quality produce and support local rural communities. Canadians deserve to have access to affordable and healthy food products and the Green Party is prepared to deliver.”

Daniel Green, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada and candidate (Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs), concluded: “Who will feed us if we do not support our farmers, as is the case at present? Agricultural land is too expensive for young farmers, toxic chemicals farmers are forced into using put their health and ours at risk, and our system continuously punishes farmers who refuse to use GMO crops. To the Green Party, agriculture is one of the most important economic activities for Canadians. We have a clear plan to help farmers succeed in the 21st century economy: we must support family farmers and local markets, reduce our dependence on soil damaging chemicals, and make GMO labelling mandatory to offer Canadians a real choice in what foods they consume. Above all else, we must pass the torch on to a new generation of farmers, who will continue to sustain us long after we are gone.”

For more information, see Background: Agriculture and a Food Strategy for Canada.

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