NDP introduces soil health bill

MP and NDP agriculture critic Alistair MacGregor introduced a private member's bill to create a National Soil Health Strategy for Canada. | File photo

A law being introduced by the NDP vows to help fight food insecurity and support farmers.

MP and NDP agriculture critic Alistair MacGregor introduced a private member’s bill to create a National Soil Health Strategy for Canada.

The law would help maintain, enhance and rebuild the capacity of soils, according to the NDP.

“Healthy soils are the foundation of sustainable food production, enhanced biodiversity and cleaner air and water for present and future generations,” said MacGregor in a statement.

The strategy would also have reporting requirements tied to it.

“Our soil plays in a crucial role in supporting agricultural productivity and in meeting global challenges, including food security and climate change.”

Beyond encouraging farmers and other land-users to use best-practices, MacGregor’s bill would create the

office of a National Soil Health Advocate and a “National Soil Conservation Week.”

The soil week would be on the third week of April each year. (National Soil Conservation Week already takes place, but this would give it federal recognition).

“Farmers are on the front line of the fight against climate change — few feel the impacts of our ever-changing weather systems more than they do,” said MacGregor. “This bill is about ensuring they have the tools they need to keep doing their jobs to the best of their ability. When we support our farmers and food producers, Canadians see the benefits in healthy food and a safer, greener environment.”

Karen Ross, director of Farmers for Climate Solutions, said in a statement that practices to enhance soil health are fundamental to the future of farming.

Bill C-290, An Act respecting soil conservation and soil health, was first read in the House of Commons on April 26.

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