The Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election is on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011. Visit Elections Newfoundland and Labrador for information about voting.
2011 Provincial Elections: Let’s Talk about Food
Read the party platforms to find out how each party measures up on food, agriculture, and fishery issues that are important to you.
Questions for Candidates:
Are you interested in what each party running in the 2011 provincial election has to say about food issues in Newfoundland and Labrador? When speaking with candidates this fall, ask them about what matters to you. If you want to learn more about whether or not food is a priority for them and how food fits within their party’s platform, consider asking some of the following questions:
How has your party or will your party…
Help increase local food production in Newfoundland and Labrador to feed the local population?
Currently in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are only producing approximately 10% of fresh vegetables available through major wholesalers and 2% of fresh red meat products.
Address the increasing rates of food bank usage in Newfoundland and Labrador?
Food bank usage in NL is on the rise, with 6% of the population availing of food bank services in 2010, compared to the national average of 2.6% in 2010.
Address the increasing rates of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes among our population?
NL faces the highest rates of obesity in Canada, with 63.2% of the population being overweight or obese, and second highest rate of diabetes across the country, with 8.3% of the population having diabetes. Canadian Diabetes Association has created a Voter’s Guide for NL as a resource for this election.
Promote breastfeeding within the province?
Newfoundland and Labrador’s breastfeeding initiation rate, at 66% in 2010, is the lowest in Canada.
Support local community-based food programs such as community kitchens, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and community freezers?
There has been a huge amount of grassroots activity with regard to increasing access to healthy food in communities across the province; over the past five years we have seen a growth from none to ten farmers’ markets alone.
Ensure that children have access to nutritious food in schools?
Research (Kids Eat Smart) shows that children perform better in school when they have a nutritious diet.
Increase access to fresh, healthy food in Northern Labrador?
With no road access and high costs of shipping, communities along the north coast of Labrador face some of the most extreme cases of food insecurity in the country, leaving many families unable to access healthy fresh foods.
Ensure rural communities across Newfoundland and Labrador have access to healthy food?
With such a low population density in much of the province many small communities have no local grocery store. This leaves people dependent on convenience stores or necessitates long travel to access fresh foods.
Make food a priority?
Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to adequate amounts of healthy, safe, and culturally appropriate foods that have been produced in a sustainable manner.
Will your party develop a provincial food action plan that addresses issues of food production, the local economy, poverty, the environment, and health?
Food is a complex issue that involves many public and private sectors. In order to successfully ensure that all people have access to adequate nutritious food, and that that food is produced, processed, and distributed in a sustainable manner, there needs to be a cross cutting provincial food action plan that addresses all issues relating to food in Newfoundland and Labrador.
What do you think are the most important food issues in the province and what would you, as my MHA, do to address them?
The Food Security Network of Newfoundland & Labrador and Root Cellars Rock is a non-partisan organization. This information is intended to encourage discussion about food issues in the 2011 provincial election.