Nelson-Creston MLA releases Kootenay food systems report

Web Lead

  • Feb. 26, 2011 4:00 p.m.

The cover of the report by Paris Marshall Smith created for Nelson-Creston MLA MIchelle Mungall.

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall said a study she initiated last year could become a template to promote food security and production in and around the Creston Valley.

“In a nutshell, this is a kind of clearing house of information,” she said at the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce on Friday. “This report breaks information down in a way that we can get some action items to move forward.”

The report, entitled Kootenay Lake Regional Food Systems, was produced by Paris Marshall Smith, a University of Columbia master of arts student who worked as an intern with Mungall’s constituency office last year. 

“We needed something that would give us a map for future direction,” the MLA told a small crowd of about a dozen, explaining why she commissioned the report. “These are grassroots items to support the agricultural sector.”

According to Mungall, Smith talked to more than 100 people in creating the report, which is broken down into seven sections: people (to consume produce and do everything in between), policy and education, land and housing, storage, processing and distribution points, transportation routes to get from A to B, marketing and vending opportunities (stores, markets, community supported agriculture programs), and integrated resource management.

“In each section she looks at infrastructure and networks,” Mungall said. 

One issue, she said, is the need for Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) buffer zones that insulate populated areas from the sights, sounds and smells of agricultural activity.

“This is an issue I hear about all the time,” she said. “And sometimes we need reminders of where we are on the right track and she (Smith) did that.”

Mungall said that the B.C. government continues to be “dead last” among all Canadian provinces in its financial support of agriculture and that there some quick, simple actions that could help immediately.

“Reinstate the Buy BC program (funding for which was eliminated when the Liberals assumed power) — it worked. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel.”

Promising to share the report with her NDP caucus members, Mungall hopes it will help guide NDP agricultural policy.

“It should be integrated into what we do after we win the next election, which we fully intend to do,” she said. “I will also give this report to the agriculture minister, and we’re going to have a good conversation.”

Lister farmer Randy Meyer asked Mungall about the awareness of NDP leadership candidates on food and agriculture issues. She admitted they are all urban dwellers, but promised to work with each to raise their awareness.

“What happens if the price of gas goes up to $5 a litre?” asked Meyer. “It could happen. It would change the price of food dramatically.”

Erickson cherry grower and Ministry of Agriculture manager Don Low concurred.

“There are some big issues — transportation costs make local agriculture more important,” he said. “There are lots of issues and no easy answers.”

Creston Valley Food Action Coalition activist Gail Southall said the provincial government produced an agriculture plan in 2008.

“It was a wonderful thing,” she said. “What happened to it?”

Mungall announced to the group that she will use her wedding this summer to promote local agriculture. She plans to use as much food produced in the Creston Valley as possible.

Kootenay Lake Regional Food Systems is available on line at Mungall’s website, www.michellemungall.com/news.

 

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will emit less greenhouse gases.

They support us, let’s support them

Local businesses support our local economy, but they need us as much as we need them.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

Nelson commits to 100% renewables by 2050

This makes Nelson the sixth city in Canada to join the worldwide initiative

Health Canada consumer alert

Flintstones Plus Iron multivitamins for children: One bottle found to contain unidentified capsules instead of chewable tablets

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

New Denver emergency ward won’t close after all

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Most Read