A Conservative government would invest $100 million over five years into the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, extend accelerated writeoffs for new food-processing equipment and create a $50-million agriculture innovation fund.
It would increase support for the Agriculture and Food Trade Commissioner Service and the Market Access Secretariat to find new markets for Canadian products.
It would develop a National Farm and Food Strategy to guide federal policy to sustain the family farm, to strengthen food safety, and to open new markets for the world-class products of Canadian farmers.
It would streamline approval times for new fertilizers, pesticides, and veterinary drugs and revise current approval processes to allow for international equivalencies in such products.
It would continue to support supply management and ensure marketing freedom for western barley growers.
It has promised a comprehensive review of federal food safety programs and agencies “to minimize risks and assure Canadians that the food on their tables is safe.”
The CFIA would get a $50-million budget boost to improve food inspection and make sure imported foods meet the same standards as Canadian products. Farm support, research, innovation and environmental programs would be completely reviewed and redrafted by a Liberal government in co-operation with farm organizations.
Farmers would be rewarded for good environmental practices. Provinces would be able to tailor farm programs to suit the needs of their producers. More emphasis would be placed on securing export markets for Canadian farm and food products.
A Liberal government would push for rules-based international trade and ensuring Canadian food exports meet the quality requirements of high-value importers.
Food safety would be increased by hiring 200 new food inspectors for the CFIA and strengthen its capacity to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and ensure imported foods meet the same environmental and health standards that apply to food produced in Canada.
Food labelling will have to declare the origin, its nutritional value and whether the product is genetically engineered.
Farm support programs will be renegotiated to provide easily accessible business risk management programs for farmers, a railway costing review will be conducted, programs developed to help young farmers get started and experienced farmers to expand their skills and the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly will be protected.
The Green Party would support programs to encourage more farms and more farmers instead of promoting corporate concentration. It would advocate a move away from subsidizing costly agrochemicals, industrial food production and genetically engineered crops.
The Green Party would cut all federal biotech funding and encourage farmers to transition to organic farming to take advantage of this rapidly growing market.
The Green Party favours a sustainable farm economy which rewards the farm family for quality food, supports local marketing, protects the domestic food supply and respects the soil, water and air on which our economy and our health depend.