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March 3rd, 2022 - Bill S-227, An Act to establish Food Day in Canada - Resuming Debate on Second Reading

Food Day in Canada Bill

Second Reading

On the Order:

Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Black, seconded by the Honourable Senator Griffin, for the second reading of Bill S-227, An Act to establish Food Day in Canada.

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: I will continue from where I left off.

With Bill S-227, An Act to establish Food Day in Canada, as proposed by Senator Black, we are celebrating our local food, but it is also an occasion to strengthen our bonds with our neighbours.

We are encouraging you to support your local food markets, your local farmers, because they are integral to our communities. What better way to spend a Saturday morning picking up fresh produce for the week, a prepared meal for the day and, by doing so, supporting your community.

It is important to strengthen the bond between farmers and Canadians, because when we need them, they are there for us. And so, to show our appreciation for what they do for us, a day like the one Senator Black is proposing is an excellent way to say thank you to them. In a time where we as a society are trying to be greener and more environmentally friendly, supporting local food is one way that we can also support our local environment.

According to a study by the Columbia Climate School, buying local food could reduce the average consumer’s greenhouse gas emissions by 4% to 5%. But more importantly, according to the same study, small farmers already adopt environmentally friendly practices. They often rebuild crop and insect diversity, use less pesticides, enrich the soil with cover crops and, most importantly, produce tastier food.

Finally, I want to share a bit more about the local in my community. By living on New Brunswick’s east coast, our local food is more from fishing, as we have a lot of fishing communities. So on the first day of the lobster fishery in the spring, a lot of people gather at the wharf to see the boats off for the first time in the season. Around Mother’s Day weekend, the tradition is to have lobster; it coincides with the first harvest. At the centre of this tradition in my community is the lobster. It is one of the many examples of how food brings people together. It creates bonds between us and gives a strong sense of belonging.

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Honourable senators, local food keeps local land in production, local money in our community, often costs less and builds community relationships. Let’s take a moment to recognize the crucial contribution local farms make to our communities and have a food day every year to thank and support them. I support this bill and urge senators to send it to the committee for further study. Thank you.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)

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