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Clement says rural issues a key part of Liberal agenda

Clement says rural issues a key part of Liberal agenda
Local federal Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement her party's Rural Canada Matters strategy will give rual Canadians the tools they need to succeed.
PHOTO CREDIT - Bernadette Clement

Cornwall - Apr. 9, 2011 - Local federal Liberal candidate Bernadette Clement her party's Rural Canada Matters strategy will give rual Canadians the tools they need to succeed.

“Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry is a riding that is virtually a fifty-fifty rural urban split. Concerns for residents of Cornwall may not be the same as some rural parts of the riding such as Lancaster, Iroquois, Morewood, Crysler or Moose Creek,” said Clement in a news release.

“We want to work with rural families in helping them find a doctor or a nurse, or getting internet access and cell phone service. We also want to protect rural postal services, recognize the hard work of volunteer firefighters and get more Canadian produced food on Canadian tables."

If elected to form government, Clement said the Liberals will put in place Canada’s first ever National Food Policy. Developed in consultation with Canadian food producers, this policy will help Canadian farmers get more of their product onto the tables of Canadian families.

The National Food Policy starts with five core areas for action:

1. Sustainable farm incomes, with a “Clean Slate Commitment” to build practical, bankable farm programs in partnership with farmers. A Liberal government will restore AgriFlex with flexibility to support regionally responsive programs, such as the Assurance stabilization des revenues agricoles in Quebec (ASRA), the Ontario Business Risk Management Program, market price insurance for livestock or improved premiums for crop insurance in the West, and a Buy Atlantic program in Atlantic Canada. A Liberal government will also continue to support supply management.

2. Safe Food, by implementing all of the Weatherill report recommendations and investing an additional $50 million in improving food inspections and ensuring imported foods meet our tough domestic standards.

3. Healthy living, including an $80-million Buy Local Fund to develop local farmers' markets and promote home-grown foods, a $40-million Healthy Start program to help 250,000 low-income children access healthy foods, introducing progressive health labelling and tough standards on salt and trans fats, and launching a Healthy Choices program to help Canadians make informed eating decisions.

4. Environmental farmland stewardship, by strengthening Environmental Farm Plans, improving fertilizer and pesticide management, and rewarding farmers for their role in clean energy production and protecting wildlife habitat.

5. International leadership, to promote Canadian food internationally and expand Canada’s share of high-value export markets while also fostering food security in Africa and the world’s poorest nations.

“The Rural Canada Matters strategy is another example of the Liberal party listening to the concerns of Canadian families and acting on those concerns and outlining our commitment as part of a strong party platform. I look forward to discussing this initiative and the many other policies outlined in the Liberal platform as I continue to meet with voters throughout the riding on a daily basis,” Clement stated.

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