OTTAWA, ON – February 7th, Liberal members on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food defeated a motion that would have allowed farmers and producers to participate in the committee’s study of Canada’s new Food Guide. In response, Conservative Shadow Ministers for Agriculture and Agri-Food Luc Berthold and John Barlow, along with Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer-Mountain View, released the following statement:
“It is shameful that the Liberals are refusing to hear from farmers, ranchers and agri-businesses that will be directly impacted by the new Canada Food Guide.
“We continue to hear from experts and physicians who are concerned that the proposed changes to the Canada Food Guide are based on ideology rather than on good science.
“By voting against this motion, the Liberals are ignoring the voices of those who work tirelessly to cultivate the food we eat. Shutting them out of the conversation is short-sighted, ideological and harmful for both the economy and the consumer.
“Canada’s Conservatives will continue to fight for our producers as the Liberals develop the new Canada Food Guide.”
Background: Canada Food Guide Study Must Include Agriculture Stakeholders
OTTAWA, ON – Conservative Shadow Ministers for Agriculture and Agri-Food Luc Berthold and John Barlow, along with Earl Dreeshen, Member of Parliament for Red Deer-Mountain View, are calling on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food to undertake a study of the Canada Food Guide and to hear specifically from farmers and those in the agriculture and agri-food sector.
This follows the tabling of a motion yesterday by John Barlow at the Agriculture Committee requesting that: “the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food undertake a study of the Canada Food Guide and hear specifically from agriculture and agri-food stakeholders; and that the Committee report its findings to the House prior to the release of Part 1 of the new dietary guidance policy report.”
On December 12th, Luc Berthold put forward a similar motion to the Health Committee. While the Health Committee did study the Canada Food Guide, the Liberal government inexplicably denied the participation of witnesses from the agriculture sector in its study.
“It is completely unacceptable that the Liberals are refusing to listen to farmers. They work tirelessly to cultivate the food we eat and will be directly impacted by the results of the study. To shut them out of discussions on the food guide is short-sighted, ideological, and harmful for both the economy and the consumer,” said Berthold.
“As Parliamentarians, it is our responsibility to conduct studies in a manner that is in the best interest of all Canadians. It is imperative to include witnesses from various sectors and industries who can share vital information and expertise on decisions being considered by the government. To shut out the agriculture sector during the development of an important document like the Canada Food Guide is being willfully blind to the inevitable impacts on the very farmers, ranchers and producers who are responsible for the food we consume,” stated Barlow.
“It is extremely important we ensure that witnesses from the agriculture and agri-food sectors have the opportunity to share their perspectives, expertise and insight on this issue. The knowledge from those within the agricultural sector should be embraced and encouraged, not actively ignored or refused,” said Dreeshen.
Conservatives are encouraging agriculture stakeholders and industry associations across Canada to contact Members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food and convey to them the importance of studying the Canada Food Guide and including agriculture and agri-food stakeholders as witnesses in the study.