BC Election Day, Oct. 24, 2020
Make an informed vote for a more food secure future

At LUSH Valley Food Action Society, we know how important it is to have leaders and decision-makers, across the region, that will stand up for our local communities, economies and the environment, especially as it relates to healthy food production and access.

On October 8th, LUSH Valley and the Comox Valley Food Policy Council sent all candidates across the region our Food Security Briefing documents. Here are some notes on their respective platforms relating to food security:

 

BC Green Platform

  • We will Create a Food Secure B.C. strategy to make B.C. agriculture more climate-resilient, improve local food security and support local agricultural producers.
  • Establish a long-term food sustainability strategy for the province to decrease reliance on increasingly unreliable import supply chains and diversify farming in BC.
  • Recognizing income and regional disparities in food insecurity across BC, work to enhance access to high quality, healthy food for low-income British Columbians
  • Supporting local processing of agricultural products.
  • Incentivize small-scale farms to adopt technologies to increase low-carbon and hyperlocal farming.
  • Identify options to make farming a more attractive and lucrative endeavour e.g. by approving micro licences for cannabis cultivation.
  • Expand the area of land under food production and create a publicly owned agricultural land bank available to lease by new farmers
  • Restrict foreign ownership of ALR land.
  • Incentivize agro-ecological farming practices such as regenerative farming.
  • Protect and restore B.C.’s wild fish populations and support the use of sustainable selective fishing methods.
    Source: https://www.bcgreens.ca/b_c_greens_release_plan_to_strengthen_community_self_reliance

BC NDP Platform

  • The agriculture and food commitments re-establish the importance of our prior work with GrowBC FeedBC and BuyBC
  • We will strengthen the Grow, Feed and Buy BC programs to encourage greater food security and local business growth. Our popular programs are key to supporting local farmers, orchardists, growers, processors, wineries and breweries. We’ll expand these programs with new worker training, land acquisition supports, and new processing hubs.
  • We also have brought forward a new piece that will create jobs for workers, opportunities for farmers, and sustainability for BC agriculture.
  • A new Regenerative Agricultural Network will be created.
  • This network will bring together natural systems of production with agri-technologies that enhance production – such as robotics, precision farming, and mesh networks.
  • Regenerative agriculture is a broad practice of farming that creates food using natural systems. It is already widely used by BC farmers and include crop rotation, manure and compost for nutrients, winter crop cover and no-till techniques.
  • What is new is the technology that can be simultaneously used to increase food production. Machine-learning, robotics, precision farming, mesh networks, automated harvesting equipment, data optimization and other agri-technologies are rapidly changing the sector for the better.
  • A BC NDP government champions agri-technology that helps farmers and protects farmland by increasing the sector’s profitability, productivity and sustainability.
  • At a time when the climate crisis is threatening the viability of farming lands, this kind of innovation can bring greater food security, agricultural sustainability, and jobs.
  • The Regenerative Agricultural Network will strengthen the provincial food system, improve profitability for farmers, jobs, and help us meet our CleanBC targets.
    Source: Ministry of Agriculture’s news feed.

BC Liberal: Agriculture Platform

Restoring opportunities for Farmers and ranchers. Under the NDP, operating costs and land-use restrictions for farmers and ranchers have increased. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical importance to our economy and food supply of our BC farmers, ranchers and food processors.

A BC Liberal Government will:

  • Implement a Trespass Act that significantly protects the properties and livelihoods of farmers.
  • Eliminate NDP policies that unfairly discriminate against farmers.
  • Implement reforms to the Agricultural Land Commission that restore the rights of farming and ranching families to earn supplemental income on their farms and opportunities for reasonable forms of secondary residences on their land.
  • Improve access to farm workers by reducing obstacles to the recruitment of skilled and semi-skilled labour.
  • Ensure access to water for crops and livestock.
  • Ensure the security and longevity of our local food system by making BC’s agriculture industry more self-sufficient and sustainable.

Questions? Contact Your Local Candidates

Mid-Island/Pacific Rim Candidates:

  • Independent: Graham Hughes (250) 720-1241 independent.alberni@gmail.com
  • Green: Evan Jolicouer 1 (778) 647-2233 electevan2020@gmail.com
  • Liberal: Helen Poon (250) 723-5811 helen.poon@bcliberals.com
  • Libertarian: Robert Alexander Clark (no phone number given) rob.clarke@libertarian.bc.ca
  • NDP: Josie Osborne (778) 421-0438 josie.osborne@bcndp.ca

Courtenay-Comox Candidates:

  • Green: Gillian Anderson (778) 322-3490 voteanderson@greenparty.bc.ca
  • Liberal: Brennan Day (250) 702-1987 brennan.day@bcliberals.com
  • NDP: Ronna-Rae Leonard (250) 941-2941 ronnarae.leonard@bcndp.ca

Advance Voting Places

District Electoral Offices (DEO)

Now until 4 p.m. (Pacific time) on Saturday, October 24
You can vote at any district electoral office in the province from now until 4 p.m. on October 24.
Offices will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
They will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during advance voting.

Courtenay-Comox

  • Black Creek Community Church, 7898 Island Hwy N., Black Creek, Sat., Oct. 17 to Wed., Oct 21
  • Comox Community Centre, 1855 Noel Ave Comox, Thurs. to Wed., Oct. 15-21
  • Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave Courtenay, Thurs. to Wed., Oct. 15 – 21
  • Merville Community Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd Merville, Fri., Oct. 16 to Tues., Oct .20
  • DEO, 5-3195 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay

Mid-Island/Pacific Rim

  • DEO, 108-3550 Johnston Rd., Port Alberni

Oct. 24, 2020, Election Day Voting Places

Courtenay-Comox

All general voting places are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on October 24, 2020.

  • Airport School,1475 Salmonberry Dr., Comox
  • Arden School, 3040 Lake Trail Rd., Courtenay
  • Aspen Park School, 2250 Bolt Ave., Comox
  • Black Creek Community Church, 7898 Island Hwy N Black Creek
  • Brooklyn School, 1290 Guthrie Rd., Comox
  • Comox Community Centre, 1855 Noel Ave., Comox
  • Courtenay School, 1540 McPhee Ave., Courtenay
  • D’Esterre House, 1801 Beaufort Ave., Comox
  • Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave., Courtenay
  • Lake Trail Middle School, 805 Willemar Ave., Courtenay
  • Mark R. Isfeld School, 1551 Lerwick Rd., Courtenay
  • Merville Community Hall, 1245 Fenwick Rd., Merville
  • N.I.D.E.S – Tsolum School, 2505 Smith Rd., Courtenay
  • Queneesh School,2345 Mission Rd., Courtenay

Mid-Island/Pacific Rim

  • Cumberland Senior Citizens Centre, 2674 Dunsmuir Ave., Cumberland
Maurita Prato

Executive Director, LUSH Valley Food Action Society