How did your Eastern Ontario MP vote on ‘An act to develop a national framework to establish a school food program’?

Left to Right: Michael Barrett, Mark Gerretsen, Shelby Kramp-Neuman, Scott Reid and Ryan Williams

Welcome to the second instalment of the Hometownist/Kingstonist feature How did your Eastern Ontario MP/MPP vote? We follow how our elected representatives voted on key issues and offer them the opportunity to explain why. Is there an upcoming vote you’d like to see coverage on? Let us know at hollie@hometownist.com.

How did your local MP vote on Bill C-322: An Act to develop a national framework to establish a school food program? That’s the subject of this week’s Hometownist/Kingstonist column that gives our elected representatives a chance to explain their reasoning behind votes.

This enactment provides for the development of a national framework to establish a school food program to ensure that all children in Canada have access to healthy food. It was brought forth by Serge Cormier (Acadie-Bathurst), a Liberal MP from New Brunswick. The bill passed its second reading on Dec. 6, 2023, but was officially announced this week.

READ MORE: How did your Eastern Ontario MP vote on the Consumer-led Banking Act?

Below is how our MPs voted. Hometownist reached out several times to give each MP an opportunity to explain the reason behind their vote, and received replies from Gerretsen and Williams.

Michael Barrett, Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes (Conservative) – Nay

No response received.

Mark Gerretsen, Kingston and the Islands (Liberal) – Yea

“Bill C-322 complemented the government’s ongoing work to develop a National School Food Policy, which I support. This week, the government announced an investment of $1 billion over five years into a new National School Food Program. The government is working with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to expand access to school food programs across the country, and the national program will help 400,000 more kids access nutritious food at school.

One in four Canadian children live in a household that experiences food insecurity. School food programs support positive educational and health outcomes by reducing hunger and providing children with the fuel they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

I was pleased to present petitions from several schools in the KFL&A region calling on the government to prioritize funding for a national school food program. I also had the opportunity to visit the Food Sharing Project organization in Kingston, which has delivered meals to students in the area for many years and advocated for a national program to expand access to food in schools.”

Shelby Kramp-Neuman, Hastings-Lennox and Addington (Conservative) – Nay

No response received.

Scott Reid, Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston – Nay

No response received.

Ryan Williams, Bay of Quinte (Conservative) – Nay

Here’s what Williams’ office had to say:

MP Williams voted again this because it is not for a program but for framework which is just our federal government adding another level of government.

It has been proven time and time again that adding another level of bureaucracy doesn’t work.

We need support for the existing programs in our community like Food for Learning who ensure that all students have daily access to healthy nutritious food while at school.

Organizations out there are already providing this program to local students and they need resources not bureaucracy.

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