It’s election season in Nova Scotia and many of us want to see food security issues on the table during this election.
To this end, the Nova Scotia Food Security Network, Nova Scotia Food Policy Council and Nova Scotia Nutrition Council sent a letter and questionnaire to all for political parties asking them for their position on a variety of food security issues. The responses are in and can be read here.
In short, all four parties recognized the importance of developing strategies for food security in Nova Scotia, however each suggests a different path to get there. Three (PC, Liberal and Green) of the four parties committed to developing a provincial food strategy, while the fourth, the NDP, said that food would be addressed in their Green Economic Strategy. As for creating social policy that targets poverty reduction, and supports food security, there were quite varied responses. The PCs suggest that encouraging donations to food banks and eliminating small business tax would be effective; the NDP supports the idea of adjusting the minimum wage to be in line with Low Income Cut-Off threshold set by Statistics Canada, and keeping the HST off home energy and other family essentials. The Liberals focused more on infrastructure supports stating that there needs to be investment in public transit, and more affordable housing, while also improving our existing Employment Support and Income Assistance program. Finally, the Greens suggested that a comprehensive poverty elimination policy needs to be created in conjunction with food security programs such as breakfast programs, community gardens, and better support for food banks.
Other groups have also been asking questions related to a variety of food security issues.
- The Community Coalition to End Poverty asked where the parties stand on poverty issues.
- Farmers Markets Nova Scotia asked a number of questions about local food and support for direct marketing.
- The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture hosted an Agriculture Forum, in which farmers asked about issues ranging from supply management to stabilizing the beef industry to investments in agriculture
So, what do you want to ask the candidates about food during this election?