1. What do you think are the top priorities to ensure a food secure community?
Preservation of farmland, minimizing incursions and conflicts with urban growth, access to an affordable water supply and finding ways to encourage young people to get involved in agriculture.
2. What are some ways you will support local farmers?
I have served for the last three years as one of our Regional District’s representatives on the Sterile Insect Release Board and strongly support their work, we can continue deliver land use decisions that support agriculture and we can work to help nuture famers. We have established an Agriculture Advisory Committee to help guide Council on these kinds of decisions.
3. What are your plans for a permanent farmers market, which is easily accessible by transit, pedestrian, and vehicular traffic?
Our District considers agriculture to be a priority and, despite being less than four hears old we have already completed a detailed Agriculture Plan with extensive industry and public consultation. Among the many innovative recomendations in our plan is a goal to find a location for a permanent farmers market which will enhance opportunities available to local farmers. A central, accessible location is key to the success of this initiative.
4. Would you change the regulations surrounding chickens and / or bees in urban areas?
We are fortunate in our District to have many properties where small scale agriculture is already happening or is possible. In my own neighbourhood we have a very successful farmgate market and at least one bee-keeper from whom we are able to purchase our food.
5. How are you going to increase the number of community gardens and farm-to-school programs?
I am very proud that we have already supported three community gardens in our community (as a volunteer worker as well) and our Agriculture Plan has a goal to continue to work on more of these in other neighbourhoods. Getting more local production into schools is not something we have worked on very much but we can – perhaps this is something we can consider in the context of other initiatives we are working on with the School Board.