Over November 5-7, industry leaders representing the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC) and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) met with over 50 Parliamentarians and their staff, including the Prime Minister, to discuss key issues currently affecting the Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable sector. As this year’s meetings were focused on increasing the industry’s competitiveness, discussions involved innovative solutions to facilitate international trade, improve the health of Canadians, improve the administration of labour programs, and support the regulation of crop protection products.
Remarks by Chantal Hébert
Participants were treated to a keynote presentation on Day 1 by renowned political analyst Chantal Hébert, national affairs writer for the Toronto Star, guest writer for the magazine L’Actualité, and regular commentator on CBC’s The National’s weekly “At Issue” panel.
Ms. Hébert’s insight on environmental issues, millennials, and the current political landscape helped to prepare and inspire industry representatives, and ensured a productive week of meetings on the Hill.
As part of the advocacy effort, CPMA and CHC hosted a reception with Parliamentarians and their staff. The event featured three top local chefs running live cooking stations and attracted over 220 attendees. The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and Parliamentary Secretary Jean-Claude Poissant, representing the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, delivered remarks to highlight the importance of the Canadian produce industry. The evening provided all attendees a more informal environment to network and build positive relationships.
Wayne Easter’s statement in House of Commons
In recognition of the produce industry’s advocacy efforts, the Hon. Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, and Chair of the House Standing Committee on Finance, stood in the House of Commons on Tuesday, November 6, and delivered the following statement:
“Mr. Speaker, members of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry are with us today to celebrate Fall Harvest days on the Hill. The economic impact alone of the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain is $14 billion in GDP. This industry is a huge employer for local economies, employing Canadians in both rural and urban Canada.
These farmers sustain our people and others around the world. Their work can be gruelling, often fighting against the uncertainty of the elements to get the crop from the field to the fork, but we know that for many it is a labour of love and we here should appreciate all that goes into their efforts.
I thank the people in the industry for what they do, providing fresh fruit and vegetables for the nutrition of all and keeping us all in good health.”
CHC and CPMA were grateful to Mr. Easter for his public show of support.
Thank you to our sponsors
We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their leadership and support of Fall Harvest 2018: