Reponses to Provincial Election Food Policy Questionnaire

In April the Vancouver Food Policy Council sent out a food policy questionnaire to all Vancouver provincial standing nominees with the following questions:

1.  The BC food system impacts public health, social well-­‐being, community development, land use, education, economic prosperity, natural resources, public safety, and transportation in multiple ways. If elected, how will you advance and coordinate food systems initiatives across various ministries of provincial government?

2.  Food insecurity is directly linked to the unacceptable rates of poverty in BC. If elected, would you commit to implementing a comprehensive poverty reduction plan with legislated targets and timelines within the next term of office? If yes, how would you do so?

3.  One in six BC children lives in a food insecure household. Despite this, BC does not have a universal school food program for public school children. If elected, what would you do to ensure that school aged children have access to healthy meals and food literacy programming in school?

4.  Indigenous food systems continue to be eroded through ongoing colonialism. Indigenous communities are raising concerns regarding the negative impacts of development and extraction projects on their ability to maintain traditional food practices. If elected, what measures would you commit to undertaking to ensure the protection and continuing revitalization of Indigenous food practices in BC?

5.  The Agricultural Land Reserve is a long-­‐standing public legacy that enables a viable agricultural sector and food security for future generations in BC. If elected, what government policies would you support to ensure the long-­‐term protection, viability, and use of the lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve? What additional approaches would you take to foster a viable and sustainable local farming sector in BC?

6.  The Climate Action Plan is B.C.’s roadmap to an emerging green economy for the province that outlines how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. If elected, how would you support adaptation and mitigation in the agriculture and food sector?

7.  Food waste is an economic, social and environmental problem that occurs in all sectors the food system. If elected, how would you advance the reduction of food waste in BC

8.  We know that neonicotinoid pesticides are toxic to bees and other insects that benefit our food system. If elected, would you commit to reducing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides across the province? If yes, what measures would you take to do so?

9.  If elected, what other food issues or initiatives would you like to advance in the coming term?

You can read the responses we received below:

BC Green Party Response

BC Liberal Party Response

BC NDP_Party Response

April 12th meeting agenda

Agenda for the April 12th meeting:

  1. Homelands acknowledgements
  2. Introductions & Housekeeping
    1. Introductions
    2. Housekeeping
    3. Meeting Supporting Working Group
  3. Approve minutes from March 2017 meeting
  4. Liaison and WG Updates 10 min
    1. City Staff Liaisons
    2. Parks Board
    3. Vancouver Coastal Health – Claire Gram
    4. Waste – Zero Waste 2040
    5. Provincial Questionnaire Update
  5. Parks Board: Food Programming Opportunities
  6. Break
  7. Food Strategy Reheat
  8. Bread Basket
  9. Motion to Adjourn

Joined-Up Food Policy

Local priorities for national policy

Join us for a stimulating presentation from Debbie Field, Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto, on her top 5 ideas for a National Food Policy, followed by a panel discussion to explore BC priorities for food policy.

With panelists

Brent Mansfield Executive Director, BC Food Systems Network

Dr Tara Moreau CoChair, Vancouver Food Policy Council

Dr Hannah Wittman Academic Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC

 

Monday, March 27th

7PM – 8.30PM

Committee Room 1, City Hall

453 W 12th Ave, Vancouver

 

 

 

January 18th meeting and Global Pulse Day

Happy New Year! We invite all members of the public to join us at the first meeting of 2017, taking place on January 18th.

The agenda includes updates from all of our working groups on their achievements from the past term and plan for transitioning to next term. We also plan to celebrate Global Pulse Day with a potluck of pulse-based foods prepared by our council members. If you feel so inspired, bring a dish to share!

Wednesday, January 18th, 6-8:30pm,
Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall
All Welcome

Full Agenda Here: VFPCMtg_2017.01.18_Draftagendashort

City of Vancouver accepting applications for 2017-18 VFPC term

The current term of the VFPC ends on February 28th, 2017 and the City of Vancouver is currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 VFPC term. If you are interested in joining the VFPC for next term, now is the time to apply!

FAQs about VFPC membership and the application process:

Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A:  All the eligibility criteria is available on this City of Vancouver website.

Q: How can I prepare a stronger application?
A: We encourage you to look around our website for more information about the council and the work we do. Past meeting minutes will give you a sense of the issues we work on and the way we work. Also familiarize yourself with the City of Vancouver information about the VFPC and about civic agencies in general.

Please keep in mind that (as our name suggests) the focus of our organization is on advancing and supporting municipal policy, so our work is distinct from that of the many community organizations delivering food systems programming across Vancouver. The VFPC is the place for you if you have an interest in municipal policy as it relates to our food system in Vancouver.

If you want to chat with a current VFPC member to get more information, please email us at info@vancouverfoodpolicycouncil.ca so that we can connect you with someone.

Q: What time commitment is expected of members? 
A: Our goal is to have an active council where members contribute at meetings, online, and in working groups. The minimum expectation is that members prepare for and attend monthly meetings (10/year) (please check your availability for 2017 meeting dates, posted here), but all members are also encouraged to join at least one of our Working Groups. Working Groups typically meet about once/month outside of full council meetings. You can find out about current Working Groups here (note that we are open to the formation of new groups based on future emerging priorities of the City and/or the interests of VFPC members).

Overall, the time commitment involved in being an active VFPC member varies for person to person and month to month. But as an example, in a typical month one might spend 1 hour preparing for the full council meeting, 2.5 hours at the full council meeting, 1-2 hours in Working Group meeting(s), 3-6 hours on Working Group and full council email/computer work, and 1-2 hours working on ad-hoc or time sensitive issues, for a total minimum of 8.5 – 13.5 hours per month. Of course if you are able to contribute more, that is always welcome but we recognize that this is a volunteer position that has to be balanced with other commitments.

Q: What are the benefits of VFPC membership? 
A: In addition to having the opportunity to contribute to positive food systems change and food policy in Vancouver, VFPC members benefit from the opportunity to network with, learn from, and befriend other food system movers and shakers.

Q: How are VFPC members selected?
A: Committee members are selected through the City of Vancouver’s Civic Committee public selection process. Current VFPC members are not involved in the selections process.

Q: When does the 2017-18 term begin?
A: March 1st, 2017.

Q: What is the application deadline?
A: Friday, October 28, 2016 at 5pm.

Q: Where do I apply?
A: On this City of Vancouver website

 

October 12th VFPC Meeting

Join us this Wednesday for our regular VFPC meeting.  At this meeting we are acknowledging World Food Day (October 16th) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17th). In keeping with this theme, we are pleased to welcome guest presenter Gerry Kasten (Public Health & Home Care Dietitian,Vancouver Coastal Health) on the findings of the Food Costing in BC 2015 report. Breakout discussion groups to follow.

Wednesday, October 12th, 6-8:30pm,
Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall
All Welcome

Full agenda here

September 14th VFPC meeting

Join us this Wednesday for our regular VFPC meeting. Following our August meeting hiatus, we will be catching up on working group activities over the summer as well as discussing GE foods and the connection between food insecurity and poverty.

After the meeting, everyone is welcome to join VFPC members for a social hour at Rouge Kitchen and Wetbar (602 W Broadway)!

Wednesday, September 13th, 6-8:30pm,
Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall
All Welcome

Full Agenda Here: VFPCMtg_2016.09.14_Draftagendashort

July 20th VFPC Meeting

Join us this Wednesday for our regular VFPC meeting. Following our regular business, our Development working group will present information and a proposed motion on the False Creek Flats. The final hour of the meeting has been organized by the Waste working group, and includes a presentation from the City of Vancouver about the Zero Waste strategy and opportunity us to discuss how we might be involved.

Wednesday, July 20th, 6-8:30pm,
Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall

All Welcome

Full agenda here

June 22nd VFPC meeting

Wednesday, June 22nd, 6-8:30pm, Town Hall Room, Vancouver City Hall
All Welcome

The regular business of the VFPC will be followed by the following special feature on school food, which starts at 6:55pm. Full meeting agenda here.

School Food Systems in Vancouver and Beyond

The Vancouver Food Policy Council recently joined the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which is seeking a significant investment from the federal government to fund a universal school meal program in Canada. To develop a better understanding of the school food system in Vancouver, the School Food working group of the VFPC will host an evening that brings various perspectives to the issue. Jessica Land from the Vancouver School District will begin by providing an overview of meal supports in schools in the district, and Sarah Carten of the City of Vancouver will describe the funding that the City provided to meals this past year. Following this, a panel of diverse speakers will provide unique outlooks on a series of three questions. Laura Track will speak to children’s legal right through the international Right to Food framework. Brent Mansfield will provide a province-wide perspective on the landscape of school food, and Matthew Kemshaw will provide his views from his experience delivering food programming in Vancouver. An open discussion will conclude the evening.

Speaker Bios

Jessica Land is the Supervisor, Enhanced Services at the Vancouver Board of Education. She has been working in Education and Community Development for over twenty years in a variety of capacities in public and non-profit agencies.  Her current position focuses on ensuring supports and services are in place for those learners who may face barriers (e.g. socio economic challenges) in reaching their educational goals.

Sarah Carten is a Social Planner at the City of Vancouver where she works on the implementation of the Food Strategy. Prior to joining the City’s food policy team last year, she worked for over a decade as a public health dietitian with several health authorities. She worked on programs, plans, policy, and research related to early childhood, school health, and food security.

Laura Track is a lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association, Canada’s oldest and most active civil liberties and human rights organization. Laura works primarily on legal cases that raise issues under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 2015, she authored a report entitled “Hungry for Justice: Advancing a Right to Food for Children in BC”, which argued for an enforceable right to food under the Charter.

Matthew Kemshaw is currently Farm to School BC’s Vancouver Area Animator, and is also a program manager with the Environmental Youth Alliance and the LifeCycles Project Society. Matthew has worked as an environmental educator for the last decade, with a focus on schoolyard food gardens and school food systems.

Brent Mansfield has broad interests and experience in food systems policy, planning and education and is passionate about working collaboratively across sectors to catalyze change in the food system. He is the Director of the BC Food Systems Network, a provincial network focused on developing more healthy, just and sustainable food systems in urban, rural and remote communities across British Columbia. He is also currently working on a contract as the Project Lead for Food Literacy in Schools with the Directorate of Agencies for School Health (DASH-BC), supporting school communities across the province to work together to take a whole school approach to food literacy. From 2010-2014 he worked as the Community Liaison and Food Policy Research Lead for the Think&EatGreen@School Project, playing a number of roles around partnerships, professional development and policy development. Previous to working at UBC he was the Garden Program Coordinator the Garden at Grandview/¿uuquinak’uuh Elementary School and a teacher in the Vancouver School Board.