Approval came in time for August celebration.
Ottawa—Ontario Senator Rob Black’s Food Day in Canada Act has secured Parliamentary approval, which will enable it to be celebrated this August on the 20th anniversary of its launch by the late Anita Stewart.
Black said he was pleased the debates on the bill in the Senate and the Commons paid tribute to Stewart, the founder of Food Day Canada and the first Canadian Food Laureate at the University of Guelph.
The debates also included “thoughtful reflections on the role of agriculture from coast to coast to coast,” he said. “They also highlighted the many ways in which Canadian food and all those involved in bringing it from farms to our forks exemplify our Canadian values. This event will give Canadians an opportunity to thank the farmers who put food on our tables, every summer for years to come.”
He noted that Food Day in Canada is already a national celebration of Canadian food and the people who make it happen. Across the country, farmers, chefs, and restauranteurs, as well as individuals and organizations, mark this day at the height of the growing season.
Stewart launched Food Day in 2003 in response to the BSE crisis in the beef sector caused by the bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow crisis. Since then, it has become a cross-country celebration that embodies Canadian culture, cuisine, and ingredients.
John Nater, Conservative MP for Perth-Wellington, sponsored Black’s bill in the Commons. Seeing it become law was point of great satisfaction because it would become an official event 20 years after Stewart started it.
The first time the bill was up for final approval in the Commons, MPs were so effusive in their praise that they used up all the allocated time for discussing it raising concerns whether it could receive another chance before Parliament’s summer recess.
Nater recalled that in 2003 the world’s longest barbecue was organized by Stewart in Elora by Stewart. “What was originally a great event to support Canadian beef farmers and to promote locally grown food has now grown into an annual event that celebrates the rich heritage and proud traditions that are Canadian cuisine.”
Discussing the Food Day bill provided an opportunity “to promote and defend the agriculture and agri-food industry, to stand up for farmers and farm families and to make sure agriculture remains not only a way of life but also the economic driver of our economy that it has been in the past and that I hope it will continue to be in the future,” Nater said.