Canada urgently needs a national food policy. Close to 2.5 million Canadians are regularly concerned about having enough food to eat -- more than the populations of Calgary and Ottawa put together. At the same time, one in four Canadians is considered obese. Hunger and obesity strain not only individuals and families, but an already overburdened healthcare system -- with wide-ranging physical, mental and social health implications. The current approach to food in Canada is also failing food producers, and the environment. We are losing thousands of farms a year -- 67 a week nationwide. And the food system is a leading contributor to climate change -- responsible for somewhere between 30 and 57 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The status quo is no longer an option.
For those us following the election this spring, things started getting interesting on April 4 -- but not because of some profound statement from one of the candidates, or the release of a groundbreaking policy position, or even a political scandal. The election became noteworthy when 700 students at the University of Guelph organized a "Vote Mob," rallying students to vote this election.