All Canadians deserve access to affordable nutritious food

As the Conservatives have failed to ensure that Northerners have secure access to nutritious and affordable food, NDP MPs are again taking concrete action to fix the Nutrition North Program.

“With elders scavenging in dumps to find food, it’s clear that Nutrition North is yet another narrow-minded Conservative policy that has failed northerners,” said NDP MP Dennis Bevington (Northwest Territories). “While the minister reads the newspaper and ignores the problem, New Democrats are taking action.”

The NDP proposal includes incorporating 50 isolated, fly-in northern communities that are not eligible for a full subsidy under current Nutrition North provisions; initiating a comprehensive review of the program with Northerners as full partners; creating equitable program eligibility criteria for Northern communities based on their real circumstances; and working with all Northerners to develop a sustainable solution to food insecurity.

A recent Auditor General report triggered by the NDP found that the program had minimal impact on food cost and lacked transparency or accountability.

“Nutrition North program eligibility must be more equitable so that funding reflects real circumstances that northerners are facing so that no Canadian has to go hungry,” said NDP Intergovernmental Aboriginal Affairs critic Romeo Saganash (Abitibi – Baie-James – Nunavik – Eeyou).