Our Food First: Smith-McCrossin Pledges Healthy Local Food Strategy
Progressive Conservative leadership candidate and Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin says it’s time that Nova Scotia’s next government make local food production and consumption a major priority for the province.
As PC Leader and Premier, Smith-McCrossin will work with farmers, local communities and others to develop Our Food First, Nova Scotia’s first-ever Healthy Local Food Strategy.
“Nova Scotia is missing out by importing so much food through the global supply chain. We could be creating wealth and jobs here at home through greater local food production,” said Smith-McCrossin. “Food that’s made closer to home is healthier and better for you, with more of the dollars and benefits staying here. Let’s support our farmers and get more Nova Scotia and Maritime product into the hands of Nova Scotians.”
Currently, Nova Scotia imports 87 per cent of its food. The goal of Our Food First is to have Nova Scotia produce 50 per cent of its own food by 2030.
Our Food First would help encourage more local food production and consumption by:
- Amending the province’s Public Procurement Act to mandate local and regional food purchased by public sector entities;
- Supporting the Maritime Beef Council’s efforts to increase regional beef production – using such assets as the Nappan research facility and the Dalhousie University’s agriculture campus in Truro;
- Implementing regulations and policies that promote, rather than discourage, the sale of provincially-inspected meat, which currently cannot cross provincial borders and places severe restrictions on getting local meat to markets;
- Developing a Nova Scotia land bank and other measures to help get unused farm land into production;
- Exploring an investment tax credit for capital expenditures for farmers to helps stimulate investment in modern farms;
- Identifying alternate energy sources, such as geothermal, to help with greenhouse food production.
Fred Cameron, owner of Cameron Brothers Dairy Farm in Port Howe, Cumberland County, says Smith-McCrossin’s strategy is just what Nova Scotia needs.
“The PC Party needs a leader and Nova Scotia needs a Premier that shows strong leadership for local food and our province’s farmers,” said Cameron. “That’s why I’m supporting Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin as the next PC Leader and Nova Scotia’s next Premier.”
Smith-McCrossin said the PC leadership race should be about advancing big ideas and big goals for the province.
“Since day one of my leadership campaign, I have consistently championed local food as a path forward for our province,” added Smith-McCrossin, who was raised on a farm. “Having a Healthy Local Food Strategy is the right thing do for Nova Scotia and helps address the province’s three major needs – a growing economy that creates jobs, a healthier population and a society with less poverty, where nobody is going hungry.”
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