March 11, 2020
MLA Kevin Arseneau Tables Motion to Give Department Mandate for Food
Fredericton – Kevin Arseneau, Green MLA for Kent-North, tabled a motion today to change the name of the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture & Fisheries to the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture, Fisheries & Food.
“While on my recent tour of the province, I heard farmers, and eaters, saying that we need to be thinking about our food. We need to put more emphasis on food and our ability to feed our population,” said Arseneau. “It is preposterous that something as fundamental as good, healthy food occupies so little of our work in government. The concept of food sovereignty is virtually non-existent.”
It is estimated that New Brunswick only produces 3% of the food eaten by New Brunswickers. Arseneau sees a huge opportunity for rural development here; including underutilized farmlands, cooperative food processing, bringing youth back to the land and ensuring that farmers can make a dignified wage. This would, in turn, increase New Brunswick’s self-sufficiency in food, which is important because in case of a major interruption the province only has about a 72-hour food supply.
Currently, no department has the mandate of insuring high quality, locally-produced food to New Brunswickers and none appear to work towards food sovereignty in the province.
Arseneau continued, “To anyone who questions our need to focus more greatly on food and food sovereignty in New Brunswick, I ask ‘Do you eat?’”
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