Election 2015: Candidates meeting to turn campaign focus to food security

Candidates from the Green, Liberal, and New Democratic parties have all confirmed their attendance

Candidates from the Green, Liberal, and New Democratic parties have all confirmed their attendance to Cowichan Green Community’s food-focused all candidates meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 23 at the Duncan United Church.

The session is part of Food Secure Canada’s Eat, Think, Vote campaign, an initiative aimed at making national food policy an election issue so that “no one goes hungry and all Canadians have access to healthy, just, and sustainable food.”

“As food security is linked to and affected by so many areas of our society – from the environment, health, economy, transportation, trade, culture, land access and more – CGC sees food as an important topic to address in this year’s federal election,” said Vanessa Goodall, a food security coordinator at Cowichan Green Community.

Starting with a potluck dinner at 5 p.m., the forum kicks off about 5:45 p.m.

Included in the set topic list are: healthy school food, support and preservation of indigenous food systems, support for local food production, and socio-economic barriers creating food insecure individuals.

Candidates will kick things off with opening statements and will also tackle some pre-submitted questions at the end.

“Given that within the Cowichan Valley, 3,456 individuals accessed food through a registered food bank in March 2014, a healthy basket of food for a family of four costs $873.08 (2011), and emerging farmers continue to face significant barriers to entering the market, including high cost of land and infrastructure, we hope that this forum will highlight some of the key food security concerns in our community and raise their profile to the national level,” said Judy Stafford, Cowichan Green Community’s executive director.

Those voting in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding are encouraged to attend and hear from at least three of the four candidates.

Donations to help cover the event costs will be accepted at the door.

Contributions to the potluck are welcome.

The forum is expected to wrap up about 9 p.m.

Visit campaign.foodsecurecanada.org for more information on the Eat, Think, Vote campaign.