By David F. Rooney
Local food lovers took another step closer last week to their goal of creating a Food Charter for Revelstoke.
Assisted by facilitator Cindy Pearce at a meeting last Tuesday, the ad hoc committee working towards that objective dissected existing Food Charters from Vancouver and Kaslo looking for elements that would appeal to Revelstokians.
Pearce described the ideal charter relevant to local people as “the over-arching document” that defines the relationship between food and local people.
Food Charters generally describe the relationship between communities and food and food sources. Do we have a right to food? How about certain kinds of food? Do food retailers have a duty to sell certain kinds of produce and meat? Do local governments have a role to play in the food system?
There were dozens of opinions as well as personal “likes and dislikes” regarding the everything from the principles enshrined in the Vancouver and Kaslo Charters and even the language used to describe them.
There was a great deal of discussion around some of the elements in each charter. How should Revelstoke’s Charter describe the role — or non-role — of local government? What about the ethics of animal husbandry. You can’t keep cattle, pigs or other edible livestock in town. But you will soon be allowed to keep chickens. Should animal care ethics be included in a Revelstoke Charter?
In general while some people liked aspects of the Vancouver Charter terminology it struck others as too, well, citified. But others disliked some of the Kaslo Charter for its vagueness on some points and attempt to male that village’s local government responsible for aspects of food security Revelstokians thought was highly unrealistic.
The exercise resulted in a lot of little multi-coloured slips of paper on a large bulletin board. Pearce took the whole kit and caboodle home to analyze and will bring that back to the committee’s next meeting, which is at Community Connections on September 10 at 7 pm.