The Kamloops Food Policy Council has put into action several initiatives in order to bring a discussion about food policy into the forefront of the upcoming provincial election.
Our campaign included the following:

  1. Six letters-to-the editor that highlight provincial government policy directions detailed in the BC Food Systems Network position paper.
  2. A questionnaire distributed to each candidate designed to reveal personal experience and party policies as they relate to food security for BC.
  3. An invitation to all BC Election Candidates to attend the event LET’S TALK ABOUT FOOD, which was held on April 3rd, 2013.

Five published letters to the editor can be found (listed with the name of the author) at the following links:
1) Carole Hebden, KFPC: Support Locally Produced Food

2) Jacquelyne Foidart, Aboriginal Friendship Centre: Equitable Access to Food an Important Human Rights Issue

3) Deanna Hurstfield, City Cycle Growers: Keep Food Policy in Mind as Election Gets Underway

4) Dave Whiting, KFPC: Let’s Talk About Food Policy This Campaign

5) Robin Reid, TRU: BC Connected to Global Food Chain
In order to inform the electorate of party policies related to food security, the Kamloops Food Policy Council sent the following questionnaire to all BC Election candidates in the Kamloops North and South Thompson ridings.  We received a completed survey from Kathy Kendall, NDP Kamloops North Thompson, and no replies from the other candidates. The follwing is the reply we received from Kathy Kendall.

KFPC: Part A:  Please briefly outline in the space below any personal actions that you have taken that enhance or promote local food security.

I shop locally as much as possible; I am not 100% 100 mile, but probably 80.  I shop at the Farmers’ Market for all my produce when it is available; I get my meat through 4H connections, at the Farmers Market or from the TRU meat store.  I freeze as much fruit as I can when it is available in the summer months.  When I do go to a store I shop locally at NuLeaf and Heartland Foods (local grains for cereal and baking and local dairy).

I’m not a great gardener but I do have 3 apple trees; I make juice and sauce as I have not figured out a way to get rid of the roll-leaf moth without chemical pesticides.  I always have 6 or 7 tomato plants and some raspberry cane and try various other things such as squash, carrots etc.

KFPC: Part B:  The BC Food System Network (BCFSN) believes that achieving BC food security will require an evidence-based review of current policies, followed by strong policy action aimed at the following four policy directions:

 

 

a.    ensuring equitable access to food

b.    strengthening local agriculture

c.    fostering sustainability and climate resiliency, and

d.    implementing a ‘whole-of-government’ approach.

 

For each of these sections, the BCFSN suggests policy directions.  We would like to hear how your party platform, or party position papers, relate to these policy directions.

 

Using the survey forms below, please indicate by placing an “X” in the column that indicates how your party platform or party position papers relate to elements within these policy directions.  Feel free to elaborate using the comments section.

 
 

a.  Ensuring equitable access to food

 

Food Policy ElementClear policy proposedSome policy proposedNo Policy ProposedComments
poverty prevention and elimination

X

 

 

The BC NDP will introduce a legislated Poverty Reduction Strategy with targets and timelines. This is just one of many polices we are introducing in our platform to reduce poverty.
food affordability

 

X

 

The BC NDP will tackle food affordability through targeted policies to increase local agricultural production and polices to raise household incomes such as: investing $210 million a year into a BC Family Bonus program; tying minimum wage and income assistance to inflation; doubling the earning exemption for income assistance and providing and immediate increase in income assistance rates of $20 per month.
nutrition education

 

X

 

The BC NDP will bring back Buy BC, a local food marketing program that successfully encouraged British  Columbians to buy local food; we will maintain successful nutrition programs such as agriculture in the classroom and will work with schools and advocacy groups to improve and develop nutrition education programs.
strengthening rural economies

X

 

 

The BC NDP will place a renewed emphasis on rural economic development with clear policies that invest in our forest land base, promote agriculture and support sustainable growth in BC’s natural resource industries.Our policies to support rural economic development also stress the vital importanceof working with First Nations to revitalizethe treaty process and enhance long-termeconomic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples.
food as a priority for small business development

 

X

 

The BC NDP is committed to developing local markets and increasing market share for BC food producers so that small and medium sized agricultural businesses can grow and flourish and we will work with small and local businessowners to implement the BC SmallBusiness Accord.
green jobs

X

 

 

The BC NDP will prioritize fighting climate change and will create more green jobs through investment in transit, green infrastructure and retrofits, agriculture and sustainable forestry.
collaboration with indigenous governments on indigenous food systems

 

X

 

The BC NDP will work with First Nations and Aboriginal communities to support economic development through revenue sharing, and revitalize the treaty process. We will work with First Nationsto support economically and culturally vibrant communities.
land conservancies set aside for Indigenous food/medicine harvesting

 

 

X

 

food and health lenses used when making decisions about industrial resource extraction/development

 

 

X

 

 
Did we miss something?  Are there other elements of “Ensuring equitable access to food” that are in your platform that you want to tell us about? 

 

Please see more details of our poverty reduction plan at www.bcndp.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b.  Strengthening local agriculture

 

Food Policy ElementClear policy proposedSome policy proposedNo Policy ProposedComments
protection of Agricultural Land Reserve

X

 

 

The BC NDP will renew the Agricultural Land Commission and protect the Agricultural Land Reserve.
providing incentives for food production on agricultural land

 

 

X

 
assistance for new farmers – farm succession, land access, apprenticeship programs/mentoring

 

X

 

A BC NDP government will support new and existing farmers through targeted policies to Grow BC, Buy BC and Feed BC such as providing more direct support to organic and conventional farmers through enhanced extension and field services for marketing and operations; and by strengthening support for the Buy BC marketing program for BC agricultural products.  We will also prioritize skills training tohelp British Columbians obtain the skills needed to succeed in today’s diverse economy.
assessing implication of new and existing regulations on small producers

 

X

 

We will work with small and local business owners to implement the BC Small Business Accord.
encouraging BC sellers to sell within BC markets

X

 

 

The BC NDP will strengthen support for the Buy BC marketing program for BC agricultural products.
meaningfully engaging farmers and communities

 

X

 

A BC NDP government will work in consultation with the agricultural community.
grants for producers starting/increasing production for BC market

 

X

 

The BC NDP will help orchardists with replanting and other input costs, and provide more direct support to organic and conventional farmers through enhanced extension and field services for marketing and operations.
identify what food comes into and leaves BC

 

 

X

 
database of information on what is viable to be grown in regions of BC

 

 

x

 
increasing food production and processing capacity in-province

 

x

 

A BC NDP government will support new and existing farmers through targeted policies to Grow BC, Buy BC and Feed BC such as providing more direct support to organic and conventional farmers through enhanced extension and field services for  marketing and operations; and will support small businesses in a variety of ways including: expanding the Buy BC marketing program to include non-agricultural products made in BC; implement the BC Small Business Accord and undertaking a comprehensive review to modernize & improve BC’s liquor laws.
develop local food procurement policies within government ministries, school districts, Crown corporations and Health Authorities

x

 

 

The BC NDP will establish a “Local Business First” government procurement policy, starting with BC hospitals buying locally grown food.
ensure Province retains control of purchasing and procurement policies in light of trade negotiations (for example CETA and TPP)

 

x

 

Adrian Dix has been clear that BC should be speaking out about deals like CETA and put pressure on the federal government to be tough at the bargaining table when negotiating trade deals.
 
Did we miss something?  Are there other elements of “Strengthening local agriculture” that are in your platform that you want to tell us about?  Please see more details on how we will increase support for agriculture and food security at www.bcndp.ca 

 

 

 
 

c.  Fostering sustainability and climate resiliency

 

Food Policy ElementClear policy proposedSome policy proposedNo Policy ProposedComments
research/services for small-scale farmers

 

x

 

A BC NDP government will support new and existing farmers by providing more direct support to organic and conventional farmers through enhanced extension and field services for marketing and operations.
organic producers and urban agriculture projects

 

X

 

See above
supporting food providers in shifting to sustainable production in both urban and rural settings (for example Environmental Farm Planning, community managed fisheries, etc)

 

 

x

 

providing resources to research climate change impacts/adaptations

 

 

x

 

communicate climate change research findings through targeted extension services

 

x

 

A BC NDP government will support new and existing farmers by providing more direct support to organic and conventional farmers through enhanced extension and field services for marketing and operations.
providing marketing assistance for existing, transitional and new organic farms

x

 

 

See above
 
Did we miss something?  Are there other elements of “Fostering sustainability and climate resiliency” that are in your platform that you want to tell us about?

 

If the BC NDP forms the next government in British Columbia, we would look forward to meeting with you to discuss issues and work together on ways to improve Food Security in Kamloops and our province.

 

 

 
 

d.  Implementing a whole-of-government approach

 
Food Policy ElementClear policy proposedSome policy proposedNo Policy ProposedComments

ensuring food policy coherence/consistency across agencies and programs

 

 

x

 

working with like-minded governments and organizations to implement whole-of-government perspective

 

x

 

A BC NDP government will recognize local governments as an independent, responsible and accountable order of government, and empower them to enact municipal finance reform; and will build government-to-government relationships based on respect and recognition between the province and First Nations.

initiating government-wide review of spending to identify food-related initiatives

 

 

x

 

ensure government food related programs are complimentary, purposeful and co-ordinated

 

 

x

 

establish inter-ministerial body including Ministries of Health, Environment, Agriculture, Education and Natural Resources to collaborate on sustainable community food and agriculture plans

 

 

x

 

support and expand school meals programs, school gardens and food literacy programs

 

x

 

 The BC NDP will maintain successful nutrition programs such as agriculture in the classroom and will work with schools and advocacy groups to improve and develop nutrition education programs.

provide support for communities to develop food system plans, urban agriculture projects, food recovery programs and social enterprises

 

x

 

A BC NDP government will work with municipalities to build and rehabilitate green infrastructure, and support climate solutions in communities across BC.
 
Did we miss something?  Are there other elements of “Implementing a whole-of-government ” that are in your platform that you want to tell us about? If the BCNDP forms government we will take steps to offer stability and cross Ministry coordination to the agricultural sector.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big thank you to all involved in our BC Elections campaign for awareness about food policy issues. We hope that our efforts have helped you to decide how you will be voting on May 14th!

Do not hesitate to contact us at kamloopsfoodpolicy@gmail.com if you have any further questions.