Creating Change, One Policy at a Time
Whether it is food security programs in BC, farmers’ market infrastructure in Ontario, or northern community gardens in Manitoba, Canada’s provincial governments have developed a wide range of innovative programs and policies to address food security. These are documented in the 2011 edition of Provincial Approaches to Food Security. This annotated collection provides information about and links to 130 policies, programs, and reports from across Canada.
Across Canada, provincial and territorial governments have developed unique approaches to create food secure communities. Whether they promote local food, develop anti-poverty initiatives, or launch healthy eating campaigns, provincial and territorial governments have the capacity to play a very positive role in improving Canada’s food security. Initiatives require other governmental and non-governmental partners as well, but provincial governments have the fiscal and human resources to be a major catalyst for healthier, more sustainable food systems.
Investments in food security policies can have many benefits for a province or territory. Local food markets keep money in local communities, create jobs, and support the economy. Investments in sustainable agricultural production support healthy environments and ecosystems. And work that promotes healthy eating saves money that would be spent on preventable diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.
Despite these benefits, not all Canadian governments have taken equal initiative. Some have done little work on food security or have done so in a piecemeal manner. There are still opportunities to grow and expand upon the items in this document. We have much to learn from the United States, Europe, and countries in the Global South. Meanwhile, those outside government need to continue pushing governments to implement policies that create healthier economies, healthier environments, and healthier communities. A lot of good work has been done, but there is still a long way to go.