Daily update: Richmond candidates explain why food security, agriculture important

In today’s Daily Update, two candidates who will take part in KPU’s Eat Think Vote event on Thursday evening, talk about why food and environmental issues are important to them.

Green Party candidate Francoise Raunet (Richmond Centre) and Liberal Joe Peschisolido (Steveston-Richmond East) are both taking part in the Eat Think Vote forum tomorrow evening at KPU.

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Raunet told the Richmond News that part of dealing with the climate crisis and serious environmental degradation is to change how people eat and grow food.

“Globalization has seen the rise of monoculture and factory farming, and the loss of small family farms everywhere,” Raunet said. “Agricultural runoff is leaving huge dead zones in our oceans, deforestation for ranching and agriculture is killing trees just when we need their carbon-fixing services the most, and the shipping and transport of food from one part of the planet to another leaves a huge environmental footprint.”

She pointed out that a key part of “any credible climate plan” is to grow food locally with as few harmful pollutants as possible.

“Here in Richmond, the issue of ALR land being lost to housing is a constant irritant,” Raunet said. “We are lucky to have some of the best farmland in the world. It’s important that we maintain it for the health of future generations.”

Peschisolido was a member of the House of Commons Standing Committees on Agriculture & Agri-Food and Environment and Sustainable Development in the last Parliament.

He said he believes in protecting farmland to support local agriculture to reduce the carbon footprint, thereby reducing dependence on importing fruits and vegetables from the south. 

Peschisolido has been working to modernize the Port of Metro Vancouver to avoid building ports in Richmond in order to protect agriculture and the surrounding environment. 

Food security is important for everyone, particularly for young families and seniors, he said. He also believes that society must transition quickly away from a high-carbon dependent economy to a low-or no-carbon economy by investing the research and innovation in clean energy.

Food security and the environment are key issues that affect everybody, he added.

Eat Think Vote takes place Thursday, Sept. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Melville Centre, KPU Richmond, 8771 Lansdowne Rd.

For more information, go to EatThinkVote.ca


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