Kootenay–Columbia MP Wayne Stetski has introduced a Private Member’s Bill in hope of seeing the establishment of a National Local Food Day on the Friday before Thanksgiving of each year.
“The importance of local food is something that needs to be recognized and something that needs to be celebrated,” the New Democrat said in a statement released on Wednesday “In our region we have an amazing array of high quality locally produced food, from vegetables and fruit, to pasta and chocolate, to meat and organic milk. Our local farmers, manufactures and retailers are integral not only to our food security but to our local economies.”
According to the Conference Board of Canada, 77% of Canadian consumers think locally produced food is important for their purchasing decisions. Farmers markets, it said, contribute over $3 billion dollars annually to the Canadian economy.
“There is a growing movement across the country that understands how much local food matters to communities, from farm to fork,” said Stetski. “Ensuring that Canadians have access to healthy, affordable food and sustainable food systems need to be national priorities. Supporting and celebrating local farmers, manufactures and retailers in every community across Canada is essential to achieving these goals.” a
That may well be true, but the vast majority of Private Members’ Bills never see the light of day and perish. Stetski’s predecessor, Conservative David Wilks, did manage to push a Private Member’s Bill through the House of Commons and the Senate. An Act to amend the Criminal Code (kidnapping of young person) (C-299) was given Royal Assent a few years ago. It established a minimum sentence of five years in prison for someone convicted of kidnapping a person under the age of 16.