Karen McCrimmon (Kanata-Carleton, Liberal), Deborah Coyne (Carleton, Green), and Andrew West (Kanata-Carleton, Green) listen to questions.
Candidates running in the upcoming election gathered in Ottawa on Saturday to discuss a subject near and dear to our hearts stomachs: food.
Ten Ottawa-area candidates from the New Democratic, Liberal and Green parties, sat down with folks from their ridings at Nate's Deli to discuss food issues in Canada. Topics ranged from support for new farmers, to hunger among the 4-million food insecure people who live in Canada, to healthy food for students.
The youngest attendee (above) might not be able to vote for another 17 years or so, but policies around food will affect this child long before that. That's why Food Secure Canada is calling for healthy food in schools, through a national school food program. Canada is one of the few industrialized countries still without one. One-third of students in elementary schools and two-thirds of students in secondary schools do not eat a nutritious breakfast before school. This sets them up for learning, behavioural and health challenges at school.
Je mange donc je vote: the French name for Food Secure Canada's campaign meaning, "I eat therefore I vote"
Later in the evening, three candidates, Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West-Nepean, Liberal), Jean-Luc Cooke (Nepean, Green), and George Brown (Ottawa South, NDP), took questions from the audience, town hall style. Each candidate committed to supporting a national food policy.
Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West-Nepean, Liberal), Jean-Luc Cooke (Nepean, Green), and George Brown (Ottawa South, NDP) field questions from the audience and from Faris Ahmed (left), moderator for the evening and USC Canada's policy guy.
For more photos and moments from the evening, check out #eatthinkvoteott. Want to find an event in your area? Visit Food Secure Canada's campaign page. And let your candidate know you want food to be an election issue by signing the petition.
The event was part of Food Secure Canada's national Eat Think Vote campaign (find an event in your area) and was hosted by the Ottawa Food Policy Council, Just Food, Inter Pares, Ram's Horn, and USC Canada.
Thank you to all who attended this non-partisan event, including:
- Emilie Taman (Ottawa-Vanier, NDP)
- Marlene Rivier (Ottawa West-Nepean, NDP)
- George Brown (Ottawa South, NDP)
- Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa-Vanier, Liberal)
- Karen McCrimmon (Kanata-Carleton, Liberal)
- Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West-Nepean, Liberal)
- Nira Dookeran (Ottawa-Vanier, Green)
- Jean-Luc Cooke (Nepean, Green)
- Deborah Coyne (Carleton, Green)
- Andrew West (Kanata-Carleton, Green)