FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18th, 2017
Whitehorse, YT – Food matters. Four million Canadians struggle to put enough healthy, culturally appropriate, safe, affordable food on their tables; food insecurity in Canada’s North is an increasingly urgent issue with far reaching public health, economic and social impacts. In Yukon, 17% of residents are food insecure. At the federal level, solutions to address this problem have been patchwork and no cohesive strategy that governs our food from “farm to fork” exists. Hope is on the horizon however, with the federal government tasking the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada (AAFC) to work in collaboration with others to develop a Food Policy for Canada that “promotes healthy living and safe food by putting more healthy, high-quality food, produced by Canadian ranchers and farmers, on the tables of families across the country” [Prime Minister Mandate Letter to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, 2015].
Policy is literally in everything we do. According to Sherri Torjman from the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, “we eat, drink and breathe public policy” because it affects everything from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.
What food policy can do for everyday Canadians is that it sets out a plan of action, both in the short- and long-term, for how we govern our food system and how we ensure Canadians are healthy and safe, how we protect our environment for future generations and how we promote our goals for prosperity. We all need to eat, so we all have something important to say when it comes to shaping our national food policy.
The Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research (AICBR) and the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition (YAPC) are working with Food Secure Canada, with the support of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, Lush Canada, and Ice Wireless to put on two events that will bring together the public to talk about Yukon food security and how it fits into the national policy being developed. Thursday, July 20th from 3:00 - 8:00 pm there will be a booth at the Fireweed Market where the public can come to hear more on the topic of national food policy, fill out the government’s online survey, learn about what is happening in Yukon, and share their views on food. Then, Monday, July 31st, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at The Old Fire Hall, a free, public meal and facilitated discussion will be co-hosted to gather further input on Yukoners’ needs and priorities for food security.
What we want to know is, “What are the shared values and priorities of the Yukon” and “What do Yukoners want to tell the federal government about our food system in the North?” There is a short window of time that the government is undertaking consultations, and it is important to hear from Yukoners so that we can raise up Northern values, ideas and needs as part of this process. We encourage a diverse set of voices to the table – community members with lived experiences of food insecurity, sustainable agriculture and fisheries leaders, Indigenous community members, local food business owners, community food programmers, government officials, and health professionals, among others – to talk about how we can build a healthier, more just, sustainable, and economically viable food system for all Canadians.
Please join AICBR and YAPC at our booth at the Fireweed Market, Thursday, July 20th from 3:00 -8:00 pm and for a free public meal July 31st, from 5:30 – 8:00 pm (The Old Fire Hall). Stay tuned to more details by visiting, www.aicbr.ca or yapc.ca.
Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research
firstname.lastname@example.org (Molly or Katelyn)
Yukon Anti Poverty Coalition
email@example.com (Renée); firstname.lastname@example.org (Kristina)