MONTRÉAL, Feb. 19, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ – Today, the Government of Canada announced the new Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, naming both Gisèle Yasmeen, the Executive Director of Food Secure Canada, and food policy expert and food justice advocate Melana Roberts, who is currently the Chair of the Food Secure Canada Board, as members.
Food Secure Canada (FSC) has long been leading the call for a national council as a tool for diverse perspectives to participate in policy making, especially from civil society as well as from underrepresented voices such as racialized communities, women, and youth.
“Covid-19 has highlighted the urgent need for all of us to work together to build healthy, sustainable, and just food systems. The new Advisory Council will allow for consensus building and engagement in order to realise and grow the ambitious but essential and timely vision of the Food Policy for Canada,” says Ms. Yasmeen.
Advocacy for an independent, multi-stakeholder body such as this was solidified in a report jointly released with Food Secure Canada and collaborators in 2017, which demonstrated broad support from actors across the food system to work collaboratively for social, environmental, and economic sustainability.
The Advisory Council will be tasked with advising the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, on the listed priority outcomes of the Food Policy for Canada. While led by Minister Bibeau, the policy demands collaboration across government departments, fields of work and disciplines. It is also aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as the commitment to ending hunger by 2030.
“The Food Policy is a roadmap towards greater accountability in food systems governance. We are in desperate need of policy leadership that not only addresses the mounting levels of food insecurity, but also advances racial justice and food sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples.” says Ms. Roberts, who is actively engaged in supporting community-led food security initiatives in Toronto.
FSC understands the parallel process that the government is undertaking with Indigenous communities in a nation-to-nation approach, but emphasizes the need to include greater representation of Indigenous participation on the council. There is also ample opportunity to hear from even more diverse voices, including those from various cultures, those with lived experience in food insecurity, and those working in the adjacent fields such as antipoverty work.
SOURCE Food Secure Canada
For further information: Rachel Cheng, 514-743-0708, [email protected]
Published at Fri, 19 Feb 2021 22:15:00 +0000