02 MAY 2015
(FREDERICTON, NB) – Green Party Leader and Fredericton South MLA David Coon is is disappointed that a bill designed to build a strong and resilient local food industry in New Brunswick was defeated in the Legislature, Thursday.
The bill was introduced by Mr. Coon to provide consumers with a clear choice in support of local agriculture. Currently New Brunswickers spend $1.7 billion on food produced outside the province.
Despite a call for the governing party to allow its members to vote by conscience, they whipped their vote and unanimously stood against it. It was defeated by a margin of 24 to 18.
The Bill focused on three major areas. It sought to establish provincial targets increasing the consumption of local foods by replacing imports. It required public institutions such as schools and hospitals to increase their percentages of locally produced food. It also called for a labelling system to be established to clearly identify food and beverages produced in New Brunswick.
"We are thankful to have had the opportunity to publicly debate local food security and will continue to support our agricultural community," Mr. Coon said, we are eager to stand behind any process that will move things along as quickly as possible to support our New Brunswick farmers.
This Bill was supported by New Brunswick's National Farmers Union and its Agricultural Alliance. Many members from the two groups, as well as interested consumers from throughout the province, were in attendance in the gallery as they watched the bill go down to defeat.