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Queen's University

Federal Election 2011

ENSC 315 questions for candidates and parties in the Canadian Federal Election:

What is your party’s policy on Canadian agriculture, taking into account both farmers and eaters – particularly to encourage local production of nutritious foods in all the regions of Canada?

  • What steps would you take to make fresh local produce more affordable for lower income families?
  • Regarding the Conservative health rebate just for physical fitness. Could this rebate be expanded to support the purchase of local organic food? What other initiatives could be taken to support organic agriculture and make the prices of organic foods more competitive?
  • Recognizing that prison farms can play a role in supporting local food provision, do you support re-establishing the prison farms or even expanding them? Note that the prison farms near Kingston have been major supporters of food providers like the Food Bank. The prison farms could provide training in organic agriculture and assist inmates in establishing CSAs etc. on their release
  •  Given that Canada’s foreign food aid policies centre on promoting self sufficiency abroad and not handouts, what national food aid policy do you recommend to support self sufficiency of poor people in Canada so that they also don’t have to rely on handouts from food banks and meal providers?
  • Do you support the rules that gasoline must contain a percentage of ethanol, given that this has contributed to rising prices of corn and other grains and therefore to the increase in food prices?
  • What would your party do to ensure more support for research in sustainable agriculture?

What is your policy about fisheries?

  • What role do fish farms have and how should we ensure that they do not have a negative impact on the wild fishery?
  • Do you recommend any steps to protect the small scale local artisanal fishery by controlling industrial fish farming and industrial wild fish catching?

Recognizing the fact that global food prices are increasing, that about 1 billion people in the world are malnourished, and that, with 4 years to go, we are far off the MDG of halving the percentage of malnourished people in the world, what new steps will the government take to work towards food security in Canada and globally?

  • Would you support a philosophy and an international resolution that food is a right, and make Canada a leader of this movement? A recognition that food security should not be controlled by the market alone?   
  • What is your policy on food aid? Make it clear to Canadians what our idea of aid is. Along with this, what is our policy about trade in food and the role of subsidies to Canadian agriculture in affecting our trade. Can you make clear to Canadians where our food production is subsidized and justify those subsidies?
  • Recognizing the importance of water to agriculture, do we have a policy regarding how Canada is involved with trading virtual water? What would your recommend for such a policy?
  • What is your policy on surface water use and on making decisions about things like diversions to areas of short supply, sometimes across the border to the US?


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