– Members’ Statement – Food Literacy

April 29, 2013

Mr. Ernie Hardeman: I’m pleased to rise today to recognize the Canadian Beverage Association. Their members directly employ almost 5,000 people here in Ontario at their 40 plants, distributions centres and offices, as well as thousands more indirectly. They are an important part of our provincial economy.

Today, the Canadian Beverage Association is here to share the steps they are taking to increase nutritional knowledge and to make nutritional information easier to understand through their Clear on Calories initiative. Just this weekend I saw a new Coca-Cola commercial raising awareness about the need to address obesity and to improve the health of our families. I want to commend them for the steps that they are taking.

We believe that increasing food literacy is an important part of helping our children understand food choices so they can create a healthy and balanced diet. It teaches them where our food comes from, what goes into it, and it helps them become healthy adults. That’s why we included a commitment to food literacy in our agriculture, food and rural affairs white paper, Paths to Prosperity: Respect for Rural Ontario, and it is why we were disappointed that it wasn’t in the Local Food Act.

Our PC education critic will be talking more about food literacy later this afternoon. I hope that all members of the Legislature will support our efforts on food literacy and that they will take some time to meet with the Canadian Beverage Association today or drop in and talk to them this evening and learn more about the jobs they create and the good work they do to increase nutrition awareness.