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Carleton University’s Initiative for Parliamentary and Diplomatic Engagement hosted more than 85 parliamentarians, diplomats, political staffers and senior officials from government and non-government organizations for a special panel discussion –  Does Canada Need a National Food Policy?

Panelists discussed that the Canadian food system accounts for 2.4 million jobs and nearly one-tenth of annual GDP, yet citizens face:

  • Rising levels of food insecurity;
  • Trade deals that provide many Canadian farmers with new opportunities but potentially reduce opportunities for others;
  • A population boom in Aboriginal communities but shrinking access to traditional foods;
  • A food-processing sector in decline, and;
  • Rising levels of obesity in children.

They called for a new approach that integrates agricultural, trade, health and Aboriginal policies into a national food policy

Peter Andrée, associate professor with the Department of Political Science, Carleton University moderated the panel which included:

  • Terry Audla, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)
  • Michael Bloom, vice-president of organizational effectiveness and learning, Conference Board of Canada
  • Ron Bonnett, president, Canadian Federation of Agriculture
  • Diana Bronson, executive director, Food Secure Canada

The panel was cohosted by Bev Shipley, M.P., chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food;  Malcolm Allen, M.P., Official Opposition critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food; and Mark Eyking, M.P., Liberal critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food.

See Ottawa Citizen coverage HERE: