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Q&A - Question 5

5. Agriculture:
A United Nations report called “Wake up before it's too late” calls for the transformation of agriculture saying we need “a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers”.

If elected would you work to make this change happen in our region and if so, how would you go about transforming our agriculture?

CINDY DERKAZ

I support and will work to foster small scale agriculture in North Okanagan-Shuswap. I see the local producers of high-quality products as part of a vibrant agricultural sector here. Over the last five years, I have attended workshops on food security, sustainable farming and tourism and have learned a lot from farmers including the Young Agrarians. My vision is to have our region known nationally for its sustainably-produced high-quality products. I see the rail trail as key to drawing tourists to our area and am working hard to see that construction of the northern section (Armstrong to Sicamous).

HARWINDER SANDHU

Food matters in Canada. New Democrats know that supporting our local food systems is essential to ensuring that Canadians have access to healthy, affordable food.   We will Invest in public agricultural research and plant breeding to support innovation and provide direct economic benefits to farmers.

We will invest in farming communities to make sure that they’re ready to respond to climate change.

New Democrats will also work together with farmers and food producers to develop a National Food Policy making our food systems stronger all across the country.

KYLE DELFING

The PPC supports and encourages the small independent farmers. The PPC will not pander to large corporations, which make it impossible for the small independent businessman to succeed. We encourage entrepreneurship and the small independent farmer.

MARC REINARZ

Yes, I would ensure this change happens. 
What I will push for is to distinguish ordinary agriculture from high density industrial farms. Elsewhere this is defined by a set number of animals per hectare. I am not aware of how this is applied to crops. Once a distinction is made, industrial farms can be identified and precautions can be made to the facilities for their nitrates not to enter the ground and harm the water table or aquifer.

This change needs to happen. The only means by which I, as MP, or a delegate can accomplish any change is by engaging experts who work with the the farming community to provide the input on the means by which to accomplish the changes. The farmer is the expert. Yet they must be knowledgeable of the needs, and sign up to participate in implementation of the transformation as described in “Wake up before it’s too late”.

I tend to always hold the position, that if a change needs to take effect related to the environment or the overall improvement of an involved process, you start with the experts in the field. As leader in a political function I have to respect that the farmer is best at steering the process, with time-lines set by the environmental community: the science.
The process must consider identifying the problem areas, for as far as they are not known yet.

Is there a ready solution known, or available? If not locally, it is likely that a process exists elsewhere to avoid us re-inventing the wheel.

MEL ARNOLD

Because I grew up on a farm, I have a good understanding of how agriculture is an important part of our local economies, history and culture and the sector continues to evolve. This evolution is truly a transformation being driven by farmers pursuing the opportunities of innovation. 
Farmers are doing their part in the fight against climate change by improving land-use practices like zero tillage and the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship. The Conservative Party recognizes farmers’ contribution in sequestering carbon.

The Conservative Party is committed to working with farmers to increase the efficiency of fertilizers and land-use methods, maximize the potential of agricultural land to sequester carbon, and ensure that best practices keep pace with the most recent advancements in technology and practice.

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