Coalition for a Sustainable Food Transition
Where parties stand
Where do political parties stand on transitioning our food system to more plant-based foods?
Our friends at World Animal Protection recently asked all major political parties, as part of a detailed questionnaire: “Would your party support initiatives to increase consumption of plant-based foods, as recommended by Canada’s Food Guide and other experts?”
“Would your party support initiatives to reduce animal protein consumption, for the benefit of human and planetary health?”
Here is how they responded:
Supporting plant-based foods
Partly in favour
Not in favour
Reducing animal protein consumption
Partly in favour
Not in favour
Here are their detailed responses:
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Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada supports both plant and animal agriculture, and strongly supports all of our farmers and ranchers across the country. We also recognize the growing demand for plant-based protein, both nationally and internationally, and that Canada has an opportunity to become a world leader in its production. .The Party has made significant investments in Canada’s plant-based agriculture sector to enhance and expand Canada’s plant-based food supply. The Liberal Party of Canada has invested over $150M in the Protein Industries Supercluster to increase the value of key Canadian crops and serve growing overseas markets for plant-based meat alternatives and new food products. Investments like these will support the growth of the plant-based food industry in Canada and provide Canadians with greater choice and access to plant-based foods. To learn more about the Protein Industries Supercluster, click here.
The Party is committed to listening to public health experts’ recommendations on promoting healthy and nutritious food choices to Canadians, including both animal and plant-based protein. Please see the link for Canada’s new Food Guide for further information https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
Conservative Party of Canada
Canada’s Conservatives fully support best practices to ensure humane treatment of animals on Canadian farms.
New Democratic Party
New Democrats are committed to pursuing a Nature agenda, anchored by our commitment to safeguarding ecosystems and biodiversity. We are committed to supporting green initiatives and responsible environmental practices that protect and preserve animals’ natural habitats, including our commitment to build a low-carbon economy, aggressively reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the environment by holding plastic polluters accountable.
We also know that when we talk about protecting the environment and taking care of our health, that means having a conversation about the foods that we eat and where it comes from. New Democrats will invest in agricultural communities, support young and new farmers, and take steps to ensure that rural livelihoods are good and sustainable. We believe that Canada’s Food Guide should be based on the best-available nutrition science, as it will inform what our children eat at school, what patients are served in hospitals, how we learn about food and, ultimately, how grocery stores stock their shelves. And we will partner with provinces, territories, municipalities and Indigenous communities to work towards a national school nutrition program that will give every child in Canada access to healthy food, and the food literacy skills to make healthy choices for life.
We’ll work with farmers and food producers to develop a National Food Policy, making food systems stronger all across the country – including food labelling and traceability, so that Canadians can be confident in what they’re purchasing to put on their family’s plate. This means exploring and supporting efforts that support plant-based farming and business initiatives, in line with Canada’s Food Guide.
The way we grow crops, raise livestock and use food also has an impact on our climate future, nutrition for all Canadians, and the welfare of animals. We’ll work to connect communities to farmers through local food hubs and develop a national food waste strategy to reduce the huge amounts of food that go to waste. We’ll also partner with farmers and communities to support biodiversity and to monitor and protect pollinator health.
We share your vision for a Canada where we can have a healthier, sustainable food system that reduces climate risks, improves animal welfare, and prepares for future public health emergencies.
This summer, Canadians watched in horror as temperatures repeatedly smashed record levels, and out of control wildfires endangered lives and communities. The fires destroyed many homes, farm crops, and irrevocably damaged our food supply. There is little doubt left to the relationship between climate disaster, food insecurity, and public health emergencies.
Canadians need federal leadership that is willing to meet the climate targets and help guide us to a sustainable future.
New Democrats have the courage to do what’s right. We will adopt a whole-of-government approach for food sustainability, starting with developing a National Food Policy that aligns with our climate goals. New Democrats will expand and support plant-based farming and business initiatives, in line with Canada’s Food Guide. We will improve public health awareness to help Canadians make healthier choices for what to put on their family’s plate.
New Democrats will also develop a food waste strategy to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste across the country and help Canadians understand how to adapt their food habits to be kinder to the environment.
We are committed to pursuing a Nature agenda that expands environmental protections for animals, ecosystems, and biodiversity. We will strengthen environmental measures to improve animal health and well-being.
New Democrats know that a just and green transition from the pandemic means develop a resilient food system. We look forward to working with the Coalition for a Sustainable Food Transition support of our shared vision to achieve a resilient, sustainable future from coast to coast to coast in Canada.
We staunchly defend Quebec’s environmental sovereignty. Quebec laws apply throughout the province’s territory, and the federal government should not be able to override them for projects under its authority.
Quebec farmers and growers care about the health and well-being of their animals. The Animal Welfare and Safety Act applies just as much to domestic animals as farm animals. Therefore, farm animals’ biological needs must be considered and respected.
The Bloc Québécois is committed to promoting organic and sustainable agriculture. The bacteria that resists antibiotics can be transmitted from animal to human. Consequently, we must aim for farming practises which do not use antibiotics as a preventative measure and which do not use any growth hormones.
When it comes to reduced meat consumption in Quebecois’ and Canadians’ diet, the Bloc Québécois believes it is a question of each individual’s personal choice and values.
Finally, the Bloc Québécois vigorously defends Quebec’s agricultural model and fights for increased support, mainly through the Agricultural Policy Framework, to retain the human aspect of our agriculture. Quebec farmers have known for a long time about the importance of protecting the environment and of the added value created by offering top-quality products—especially by keeping in mind the welfare of their animals and the quality of their resources. Whether it is favouring greener heating systems, promoting organic agriculture or even supporting short channels for local purchasing, the Bloc Québécois will continuously support local farmers and processors to live according to the model we chose.
If given the chance and opportunities to invest and do research, producers and processors could become important agents of change in the green recovery.
This is why the Bloc Québécois wants to do two things in particular:
– Invest in research and development, notably by releasing a $300 million fund to find alternative solutions to current practices, while accompanying agricultural producers and processors in the process;
– Develop a proactive system for recognizing the different roles that agricultural producers play in Quebec society. Well beyond being just producers, you play a vital role in the occupation of the territory, the safeguarding of the environment and the vitality of our regions.
This agreement model would allow producers to have more liquidity to invest in projects themselves and possibly to manage certain risk management programs is an issue we absolutely want to work on.
This project would obviously include the rewarding of green actions, practices and projects, which would also allow the population to realize the environmental efforts of our producers and the importance of these.
Furthermore, it is obvious to the Bloc Québécois that the development of sustainable agriculture requires adequate labelling of products, including the identification of GMOs, so that Quebecers can make informed choices in relation to their health and their
Green Party of Canada
Meat and dairy do not provide nutrition in an efficient or sustainable way. While meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, they use 83% of farmland and produce 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. (source)
A 2020 report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) cited increased demand for animal protein and agriculture intensification as key drivers of pandemics, biodiversity loss and climate change and responsible for over 50% of infectious diseases from animals since 1940. (source)
Antibiotic resistance, identified by the World Health Organization as one of the world’s top 10 public health threats, is also fueled by the industrial animal agriculture system since ¾ of the world’s antibiotics are given to farm animals. (source) Currently, about 700,000 people die each year from antibiotic resistant infections. Without countries taking action, up to 10 million people will die annually by 2050 due to superbugs rendering antibiotic treatment ineffective. (source)
Experts recommend reducing meat and dairy consumption in favour of more plant-based foods to help reduce public health threats from animal agriculture and to reduce impacts on climate change. This approach would also align with the recently revised Canada Food Guide.
Coalition for a Sustainable Food Transition
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