Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)

MacGregor reintroduces legislation to create a National Soil Health Strategy for Canada

NDP’s agriculture critic cites the need due to climate change and food insecurity

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor has reintroduced legislation from the previous session of Parliament to establish a National Soil Health Strategy for Canada.

With the increasing impacts of climate change and global food insecurity, the NDP’s Agriculture and Agri-Food critic stressed a national strategy will help to maintain, enhance and rebuild the capacity of soils to produce food and fuel for years to come.

“Healthy soils are the foundation of sustainable food production, enhanced biodiversity and cleaner air and water for present and future generations,” he indicated. “Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast depend on our ability to produce good food to keep themselves, their families and the environment healthy. Our soil plays a crucial role in supporting agricultural productivity and in meeting global challenges, including food security and climate change.”

MacGregor’s bill encourages farmers and other land users with research, education, training and knowledge transfer in best practices and will also establish an office of a National Soil Health Advocate. The bill also requires the Agriculture Minister to consult with representatives of provincial governments, Indigenous governments and stakeholders in the agriculture and agri-food industry.

“Soil is a crucial ally when it comes to the fight against climate change, and Alistair gets that,” said Gabrielle Bastien, founder and co-director of Regeneration Canada. “For Canada to achieve its climate commitments, we need more legislative measures like Bill C-203 at the federal level to scale up soil carbon sequestration.”

“Farmers are on the front line of the fight against climate change,” added MacGregor. “Few feel the impacts of our ever-changing weather systems more than they do, as we have seen with the atmospheric rivers devastating B.C. in recent weeks. This bill is about ensuring they have the tools they need to keep doing their jobs to the best of their ability. When we support our farmers and food producers, Canadians see the benefits in healthy food and a safer, greener environment.”

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