Thank you very much to those of you from both inside and outside Whitehorse who have called, emailed, stopped by and signed the petition to indicate your support for urban chickens and urban agriculture.
I have been very encouraged by your interest and dedication to protecting citizens’ rights to a healthy, locally grown food supply system.
Urban agriculture increases economic stability for individuals or families who can produce their own source of vegetables, meat and eggs, it increases community cohesion as children and families work and learn together to care for animals, and it can be used as a teaching tool for young people, inviting them to accept responsibility and be productively engaged after school by caring for gardens and animals.
It also allows families to have more control over the ingredients that go into their food. Locally, organically raised food is chemical free and Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) free.
The food-production industry will always thrive - people will always need to eat.
As a consumer of food, I personally enjoy knowing where and how my food was produced and I am willing to take the extra steps necessary to regulate where my food comes from. Unfortunately, not all Yukoners have the luxury of producing their own food.
The bulk of food in the Yukon is brought in for us and, therefore, the economic benefits associated with it are reaped in regions other than ours and the transparency of production is lost.
This is just one more reason why I am running for the Yukon Green Party in the Riverdale North riding.
In an effort to transform and expand the diversity of the Yukon’s economy, one of the Yukon Green Party’s key goals is to ensure the Yukon enjoys a high-quality, healthy, and plentiful local food supply system, which will prevent food-related illnesses and encourage long-term jobs in the food production sector.
When I am elected to the legislature, I can take this important issue beyond the limits of Whitehorse and request the formation of an arm’s-length food security council whose role would be to facilitate open dialogue between current groups affected by food insecurity and strive to find culturally appropriate methods to increase and maintain a sustainable supply of healthy local food.
The Yukon Green Party has developed a very thorough agriculture policy, and here is a fraction of the policies we feel would benefit all Yukoners:
• Employ farmland covenants, trusts and long-term tenure as tools to increase the amount of land used for agriculture and to provide access to land for those who want to farm and for whom the cost of land is prohibitive.
• Support a national initiative for labeling of all foods that contain genetically modified organisms.
• Develop school curriculums (kindergarten to Yukon College) that provide students with horticulture, farming and sustainable food production experience.
• Investigate the possibility of agriculture-land reserves to ensure future generations may grow their own food by allocating adequate land for the exclusive use of hunting, fishing and gathering in areas currently designated as Crown land, territorial parks and other public lands.
If safe, healthy and locally grown food is a priority for you and your family, please consider learning more about the Yukon Green Party’s agriculture policy, and thank you again for your support.
Kristina Calhoun, candidate Riverdale North
Yukon Green Party