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Food for thought: Here's what the candidates have to say about easy access to healthy foods

The ideas range from a national food strategy to getting rid of the carbon tax
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Editor's Note: For the 2019 federal election, TimminsToday teamed up with a journalism student to provide extra coverage on important issues. 

The interviews conducted during this Q and A series were done by Dana Simpson from Algonquin College in Ottawa. The issues and topics of discussion focused mainly on youth and young adults in Canada and the Timmins-James Bay riding. The answers have been edited for length and clarity.

With rising grocery costs, what will you do to ensure consistent, easy access to healthy meals for youth?

NDP Charlie Angus 

Having a national strategy is vital to food security. This being said, we also need to work regionally on an anti-hunger coalition and use the farming economy to help supply good quality food in the community for public access.

Liberal Michelle Boileau 

We must ensure that our community organizations and institutions have the resources they need to be able to have healthy food available on campus. We’re also working on the national school food program in conjunction with the provinces and territories to make sure that students across the country have access to healthy food every day and making sure that our community organizations and companies have access to funds to be able to build up the infrastructure so that we can access all these foods locally and regionally and be able to access these foods without having to transport our healthy food from all over the country and all over the world. We want to build up the infrastructure such as greenhouses to make sure that we grow our produce here.

Conservative Kraymr Grenke

In Timmins-James Bay, food is actually seven per cent higher than the Ontario average based on transportation costs so we need to ensure that those prices stay moderate so that we can have options for healthy food here in the north but also look at locally grown options and supporting the farmers that are in our region.  We’ve had a lot of farmers pop up in Timmins-James Bay, larger ones down in the southern part of the riding but also smaller ones up in Timmins, Cochrane, and Matheson so ensuring that they have the resources available and supports so that they can succeed.

Green Max Kennedy 

Instead of our farming industry as an industrial model where the vast majority of what we’ve produced is shipped a long way away to be processed and then shipped elsewhere, we’re looking at supporting local farmers, local seed, and local food. By having the processing happen locally, we’ve got smaller local farms that are designed to meet the needs of the communities in your area. And by having food processed locally, you’ve actually got employment in the area as well.

PPC Renaud Roy 

We will lower the inflated prices on food by eliminating supply management on eggs, dairy and poultry which cause Canadians to pay almost twice the price for these basic items. Also by eliminating inter-provincial trade barriers which raises costs on agriculture products and other items. And we need to get rid of the carbon tax which is really a tax on everything because of heating and transportation costs in the north. We will work alongside non-governmental community organizations and charities to accomplish this.

The federal election is Oct. 21. More local coverage is available here