1. If your party forms government, what will it do to decrease food insecurity in Canada?
The Green Party is committed to increasing food security across Canada through a comprehensive suite of initiatives. In addition to our commitments to address poverty, which is a large factor affecting food security in Canada, Green Members of Parliament (MPs) are committed to the following food security initiatives:
- Implementing a Universal Healthy School Food Program for national school lunches;
- Improving food security in northern communities by consulting with residents on Arctic farming, working with non-profit groups to build greenhouses or hydroponic towers and funding education programs in nutrition and horticulture;
- Supporting rooftop and community gardens and urban food production systems to increase access to local food; and,
- Consulting with stakeholders and communities on means to reduce food waste.
2. If your party forms government, what will it do to move Canada toward its goal of decreasing poverty by 50% by 2030?
As citizens of a wealthy nation with a high standard of living, Canadians should not be going hungry. Yet 4 million Canadians are food insecure. We must start by recommitting to a vision of Canada as a just society built around a progressive, fair, and compassionate social safety network. In Canada, 9% of Canadian children and a shocking 47% of First Nations children live in poverty. Our children are hungry and the Green Party is committed to ending food insecurity.
Reducing poverty is a top priority for the Green Party. We believe it is a key tool in ensuring families have the ability to provide for their children. It is time to revisit a major policy initiative − a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) for all. The use of a GLI could eliminate poverty and allow social services to concentrate on problems of mental health and addiction.
The principle of the GLI is simple: to establish an income floor below which no Canadian could fall, but with incentives for recipients to continue working and to earn more. A GLI would provide a regular payment to every Canadian, at a level above the poverty line, to meet Canadians' basic food and other needs and ensure that no person’s income falls below what is necessary for health, life and dignity.
3. Is your party in favour of increasing existing refundable tax credits, such as the Canada Workers Benefit, and/or making some non-refundable tax credits, such as the Disability Tax Credit, refundable?
The Green plan to establish a GLI is a program to replace the current array of income supports, such as disability payments, social assistance and income supplements for seniors. Payments would be set at a “livable” level for different regions of the country. Unlike existing income support programs, additional income would not be clawed back. Those earning above a certain total income would pay the GLI back in taxes. However, reforms to the Canada Workers Benefit and Disability Tax credit would be supported as stop-gap measures during implementation.
4. How does your party propose to increase access to healthy food in Northern and Indigenous communities?
The Green Party is committed to food sovereignty, to ensure that food policies are developed closely with affected communities, with their needs at the forefront. All Canadians, regardless of where they live, deserve the right to choose healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods. For many Indigenous communities, this includes access to country food, obtained through hunting or trapping.
In addition to the move towards a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI), the Green Party will replace the inadequate Nutrition North program, and support the construction of greenhouses in the North, to increase northern and Indigenous food sovereignty and make food more affordable.
5. How does your party propose to increase healthy eating in Canada?
Diet related diseases cost our healthcare system an estimated $26 billion annually. The Green Party believes that healthier eating habits, better food skills and an increased understanding of where our food comes from is critical to our future. In the 42nd Parliament, Green MPs made it a priority to consult extensively with affected stakeholder groups throughout the legislative process.
We will continue to draw on the expertise of civil society organizations in developing national policy and fully support the formation of an adequately funded, cross-sectoral Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council to inform food policy. We also support the implementation of a Universal Healthy School Food Program and related education efforts to supply healthy food to Canada’s next generation. We will work to limit marketing of unhealthy food and beverage choices aimed at our children and believe that front-of-package labels are an initiative worth pursuing.