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Province re-introduces Local Food Act

Premier Kathleen Wynne at Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens' cooking school promoting re-introduction of Local Food Act, Mar. 25, 2013. 680NEWS/Charlene Close

The province is renewing its push to get more local food in grocery stores and restaurants.

Its previous attempt to introduce the Local Food Act was soured when the legislature was prorogued, killing all proposed legislation.

The province re-introduced the bill at Queen’s Park Monday, which if passed would promote Ontario food.

“This bill supports, promotes and celebrates the good things that are grown, harvested and made in Ontario,” Wynne said at Queen’s Park.

“I committed to re-introducing this important piece of legislation as soon as possible because, if passed, it will form part of a comprehensive local food strategy that will strengthen our agri-food sector.”

“And it will help more people find, buy and eat food that is made and grown in Ontario, which is very important to our government,” she said.

Earlier at Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens’ cooking school where Wynne took part in a class with students, she said the bill is in reaction to what consumers want.

“I believe that when they come into a store like Loblaws, they’re looking for local food,” she said.

“We want to make it easier for people to find local food. We want to make sure people understand what we mean by local food.”

If passed, the act would help make more local food available in markets, schools, grocery stores and restaurants.

Wynne said she has received a clear message from farmers over the years.

“Local farmers saying we need more profile…we need you to be shining a light on Ontario food.”

The agri-food sector in Ontario is worth more than $34-billion a year to the provincial economy and employs more than 700,000 people.