Nutrition North isn’t helping a lot of Northern communities. The program gives access to nutritious and affordable food, but around 50 communities aren’t being included. Northern politicians, including MP’s Charlie Angus and Carol Hughes, want something to be done to include those towns.
Hughes, the MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, says a recent report from the Auditor General shows the program doesn’t have much impact.
“It found that the department had not established community illegibility criteria, that are fair and accessible,” says Hughes. “So again, that reinforces the reason why we’re tabling an Opposition Day motion.”
The cost to expand the program will be around $7 million.
“People may say ‘oh that’s a lot of money’; well it’s a lot of money, but it’s a lot more money that we spend on healthcare if you look at the impacts of not having nutritious foods,” says Hughes.
She references one community who claims to have a diabetes rate of 80%.
“Can you imagine, if they would have had access to nutritious food, that number might not be where it’s at today.”
Hughes says they also have petitions out there to support the NDP effort. Opposition Day will be before the end of June, and is an opportunity for the opposition to set the agenda in the Legislature.