Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Food and Agriculture Policy platform of federal parties with a BC perspective-CBC.ca | B.C. Almanac -

CBC.ca | B.C. Almanac

click here for podcast then scroll 1/3 of the way into the broadcast (past the obligatory hockey banter)

Candidates in BC talk about agriculture on CBC BC Almanac, April 26th 1 pm.
Ed Fast (Conservative from Abbotsford), Renee Hetherington (Liberal from Saanich-Gulf Islands), Alex Atamanenko (NDP- Southern Interior) and Brennan Wauters (Green from West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky) answer questions from farmers around BC who called in.
Garnet Etsell, Chair of BC Ag Council, started the ball rolling by speaking for all farmers and their need for an agriculture that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.
Dayna Chapman, co chair of BC Food Systems network, spoke on the health and environmental issues related to agriculture, as well as the income issues for farmers.
Main platforms:
NDP - Alex Atamanenko - ag critic for NDP - main task is for farmers to make a living and produce good clean food.  Canadian Food Strategy in line with Liberals, Canadian Federation of Agriculture - need people to put heads together. NDP are concerned about the decline in prices with increased trade. NDP recognize that young farmers can't justify farming as a career when their parents are unable to make a viable living farming.
Green Party - Brennan Wauters - basic stance is all economic activity is predicated on a healthy environment.
Climate change, encouraging young people, local agriculture, organic and urban agriculture are to be encouraged to secure food production in Canada and impact our health care system. Greens want to see a way to get young farmers on the land.
Conservatives - Ed Fast - Abbotsford has largest farm gate income in Canada - need to find markets for our food products and ensure it is sustainable economically, socially and ecologically. The government has supported loans to young farmers and cooperatives, and have a suite of farm programs to assist farmers.
Liberals - Renee Hetherington - a former rancher and director of BC Cattlemen Assn, she recognizes problems in maintaining a viable farm income. Liberals also recognize that the declining farm income is the main reason young people find it difficult to get into farming.  The Liberal platform wants to support farmers by listening to them and taking a bottom-up approach. Liberals believe it is important to listen to farmers so programs are tailored to the farmer's needs. Liberals were the first to bring in a National Food Strategy. Renee is also a research scientist, who is willing to work at the policy level to address climate change issues. 

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