Nation Rising submitted a brief for the pre-budget consultation process for the 2021 Federal budget. This brief reviewed why the present moment demonstrates the need for Canada to begin exploring how to transition to a plant-based food system and to take initial measures towards this transition. To this end, Nation Rising made the following recommendations for the 2021 Federal Budget, to help operationalize the recent recommendations of the new Canada Food Guide to shift to a more plant-based diet, Canada’s commitment to preventing the emergence and spread of infectious diseases, Canada’s climate and other environmental goals, and Canadians’ concerns to reduce the needless suffering and killing of animals:
Recommendation 1: That the government create a working group to study and make recommendations on how a transition to a plant-based food system in Canada could best be achieved, which will gather and assess evidence of the potential public health, ecological, and economic impacts of such a transition.
Recommendation 2: That the government provide funding in the amount of $7 million per year for the next three years for a farmer transition pilot program, which will provide grants to a limited number of farmers who wish to transition from animal agriculture to producing safer, healthier, and more sustainable plant-based food for human consumption.
Recommendation 3: That the government provide funding in the amount of $134 million to be dispersed over the next five years to research, define, and implement a National Food Program and a plant-based food procurement policy for government institutions and other public institutions such as hospitals, schools, and universities.
Recommendation 4: That the government shift a minimum of $390 million, or 10% of the total budget that was earmarked for supply managed animal industries in the 2019 Federal budget ($3.9 billion), to directly fund the growth of climate friendly, sustainable, and healthier plant-based food for human consumption.