Food safety must not be chopped

Last week I talked about a series of current concerns for our local agricultural communities.
I very much appreciate the response I have received so far, so I am including some “latest news” and updates on some ongoing issues.
As a member of the standing committee on agriculture, we’ve called on the government to convene an emergency session. This is to deal primarily with the unbelievable cuts to food safety inspection.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is on the chopping block for considerably reduced funding.
Hopefully you will agree there are many other areas that could use slimming but to me, food security is not one of them.
Regrettably, I must remind everyone that this was not one of the Harper government’s election planks, so this only confirms the “hidden agenda” by fact.
When the committee meets in the next few weeks, I also will be proposing immediate attention to the dire situation our beef farmers are facing. The Harper government must come to the table and work out a solution with the provinces and the farmers.
If you are as worried about food prices as I am, then you should know farmers are being hit hard by rising costs of fuel and fertilizer. Sadly, our food producers are not seeing profits from the rapid escalation due to expenses such as these.
So be kind to our farmers—they are struggling, too!
In the western part of the riding, there are two longstanding unresolved issues. The first is funding from FedNor for the abattoir project, which should have been in place months ago.
Why the government is holding this up with our short construction season is very unfair.
The second is the federal government’s promise for drought relief from two summers ago! With all the rain we’ve had this year, it’s difficult to remember the parched earth and low water levels, however many farmers were seriously hurt.
I have been working to get both the provincial and federal governments to agree to a shared funding solution.
In talking to people from Rainy River to Fort Frances to Neebing Township, and everywhere in between, I know food security is a major concern. As I meet with farmers and their organizations, I want to assure everyone that is also their top priority.
Remember, “If you ate today, then thank a farmer!”
It has come to my attention there’s a move to designate a “National Food Day” on the first Saturday of August. Please let me know what you think about this!

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