News and announcements 10/11/2019

1. If your party forms government what will it do to decrease food insecurity in Canada?

The Liberal Party recognizes that our food system is not perfect, that 4 million Canadians are facing food insecurity, and that too many Canadians, particularly low-income and Indigenous Canadians, are not able to reliably access sufficient amounts of affordable, healthy food.

Our government’s $134 million investment through the new Food Policy for Canada is a first step and roadmap to building a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada. We believe there are many parts of the food system in Canada that need strengthening, so we have taken initial measures to begin its improvement.

The $50 million Local Food Infrastructure Fund, the most significant investment in the new Food Policy for Canada, will support a wide range of community-led projects to increase access to safe, healthy, diverse food sources. The $15 million Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund will support community-led projects like greenhouses, community freezers, and skills training to strengthen indigenous food systems, and combat significant challenges in accessing nutritious food in Canada’s North.

If re-elected, improving food security, promoting good health and encouraging a sustainable food system will remain key priorities,

2. If your party forms government, what will it do to move Canada towards its goal of decreasing poverty by 50% by 2030?

The Liberal Party remains committed to reducing poverty by 50% and helping more Canadians join the middle class - and our plan thus far has made immense progress in the last four years by reducing poverty by 20%, three years ahead of schedule for this milestone. 

A re-elected Liberal government will build on the progress already made by the National Poverty Reduction Strategy, including a significant tax cut for all but the richest Canadians. Our newest affordability proposal, which would raise the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) to $15,000, will save the average family nearly $600 in taxes each year.

With this new change to our tax system, 700,000 low-income Canadians, including seniors and young people just beginning their careers, will pay no federal tax at all. Raising the BPA to $15,000 will also lift nearly 40,000 Canadians out of poverty.

We will also increase Old Age Security (OAS) by ten per cent once they turn 75. This will help lift more than 20,000 seniors out of poverty, of whom two-thirds will be women. These measures, alongside continued job creating policies, as well as the newly increased Canada Child Benefit, the Canada Worker Benefit, and enhanced benefits for seniors, will keep us on track to reducing poverty in Canada by 50% in time for 2030.

We know there is still more work to do and we’ll keep investing in Canadians to make sure that, wherever you live or wherever you come from, you have a real and fair chance at success.

3. Is your party in favour of increasing existing refundable tax credits, such as the Canada Workers Benefits, and/or making some non-refundable tax credits such as the Disability Tax Credit (DTC), refundable?

Our government was proud to introduce the new and enhanced Canada Workers’ Benefit. 

It is also a priority for us to ensure that all Canadians, including those living with disabilities, receive the credits and benefits to which they are entitled. We recognize that living with a disability can have a significant impact on the lives of those affected and their loved ones. That is why our Government has put in place measures to make the DTC is more accessible. Additionally, in November 2017, our government reinstated the Disability Advisory Committee (DAC), which was abolished under the Harper Conservatives in 2006.

The DAC published its first report in the Spring of 2019. In it are recommendations of administrative changes at the CRA to make it easier for Canadians entitled to the DTC to receive it. Our government accepted these recommendations entirely and are committed to implementing the changes by next spring. 

We have also taken other steps in our platform, such as committing to immediately double the Child Disability Benefit. 

We also introduced measures to conduct targeted outreach that would increase awareness of the CWB, including the advance payment provision, and to allow low-income workers to apply online for advance payments through CRA’s My Account portal.

4. How does your party propose to increase access to healthy food in Indigenous and Northern communities?

First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities often face barriers that others do not, which is why our party announced funding dedicated to serve these predominantly northern and isolated communities.

The Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund will help find culturally appropriate and practical solutions to increase food security across the North, together with other federal and northern partners. It is intended to support local, community-led projects that reduce dependence on the southern food industry and the associated costs (e.g. transportation and storage) for northern isolated communities. 

In government, we have also invested new funds in the Nutrition North Canada program. This ongoing investment will support several program changes, and introduces a new Harvesters Support Grant to help lower the high costs associated with traditional hunting and harvesting activities.

These and other parts of the Food Policy for Canada will, going forward, provide for new approaches to improving food security and in the North and in Indigenous communities across the country.

5. How does your party propose to increase healthy eating in Canada?

The Liberal Party wants to help make the healthy choice, the easy choice for all Canadians.

That’s why we launched our Healthy Eating Strategy in October 2016, which consisted of four elements:

  • banning industrial trans fats, which came into effect in September 2018;

  • updating Canada’s Food Guide with the latest nutritional knowledge; which happened in January,

  • introducing front-of-pack labelling so Canadians have clear facts;

  • restricting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.

We will continue working with our partners to ensure all Canadians have access to healthy food.

Earlier this year, our government was thrilled to unveil Canada’s new Food Guide; updated for the first time since 2007 based on science and evidence. 

The new Food Guide is more advanced, affordable and applicable than ever, replacing the “one size fits all” approach with a dynamic tool reflecting today’s Canada, with an online suite of resources and clear advice for all Canadians to make healthier eating choices.

The new Guide is driven by dietitians, not politicians, and evidence, not industry. It gives Canadians the tools to eat healthy by placing more focus on what, when and how we eat, and less on food groups and servings. We believe that this will help in improving diets for many Canadians, relieving some of the stresses placed on our health care system by diet-related disease.