BY: DAVID COOPERNEWS,Associated PressA few weeks ago, Ontario’s Liberal government announced its food supply plans for the coming fiscal year.
It had been promised to make the food system more efficient, better prepared and better protected.
It promised to “bring the province back to a healthy economy”.
But the plan has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.
It is also facing an outcry from some residents and businesses, who say it is a poor plan that will lead to a food shortage.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Associated Press, Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne talked about the plan and its many problems.
She also said the government has been trying to fix them for months, and she hopes the public will support her efforts.
“This is a very difficult, complicated plan, but I think it is going to be a very successful plan,” Wynne said.
“The key to success is the work we’re doing to get it all right and to make sure that we get the best possible deal.”
Wynne said she hopes Ontario can be a model for the rest of the country in how it works.
Ontario, with a population of about 1.3 million, has one of the lowest per capita food costs in the country.
But the province is facing a shortage of fresh food in many areas, especially in cities and suburbs.
“People are going to see it more as a crisis and not just a business case, but a public health crisis,” Wynne told AP.
The Liberals have proposed making the food supply system more cost effective by raising prices on groceries, allowing people to pay more for grocery items, and allowing restaurants and grocery stores to offer more healthy food.
But Wynne’s plan has had its critics.
Ontario has a history of failing to deliver on food supply, and some residents have voiced concern that they may have to wait more for groceries.
“I think we’re a little bit disappointed that this is a plan that is coming out of the province of Ontario that hasn’t had any real input from the public,” said Robyn Burdette, president of the Ontario Consumers Federation.
“If they’re going to make promises, I think they should make the promises that people have been asking for for a long time.”
The Liberals’ plan calls for a “comprehensive food supply strategy” that would require food suppliers to increase their efficiency, improve the quality of their products and hire more staff.
The plan also calls for increased inspections, and would allow food processors to sell their product more freely and sell it to the public.
Wynn said the plan would allow the government to cut down on food waste and save money on food.
“That’s a really big priority,” she said.
“That’s why we’re looking at the best solutions for the most people.”
Wysong said her government has taken the lead in making sure Ontario gets the best deals.
She said the Liberals plan includes more money for health, and also includes “increased incentives for grocery stores, to encourage them to sell healthier foods.”
“We are putting in place the best food supply strategies and solutions that will help our people have a healthy and safe future,” Wynne added.
“We’re committed to delivering on this.”
She said she is confident the government will be able to deliver the best plan.
“We’re going through the best way that we can to bring the province and the province’s economy back to health,” Wynne continued.
“The public wants to see the best for Ontario, and we are committed to making sure we get that.”
Wydney said she plans to have more to share about the food plan in the coming weeks.