Policies from the Field - Feb 11 and 12 Launch of Working Paper Series and Webinar Mini-Conference

Feb 06 2013

Content updated March 8th with Videos embedded

Join Sustain Ontario on Monday February 11th and Tuesday February 12th as we launch our Policies from the Field series of six working papers with a webinar mini-conference. The papers take inspiration from promising food policies from across North America, Europe, and Australia and analyze how these approaches can be applied to Ontario. The authors of the papers – Mark Winne, Wayne Roberts, Kyra Bell-Pasht, and Burgandy Dunn – will be discussing their research that ranges from food policy councils and a health-in-all-policies approach to local food procurement and land-use planning.

The mini-conference will be comprised of four webinars over two afternoons.

To register for the webinars, follow the links in the schedule below.

Monday, February 11th
1:30p.m. – 2:15p.m. – Food Policy Councils (Mark Winne)

3:30p.m. – 4:15p.m. – Local Food Procurement (Kyra Bell-Pasht)

Tuesday, February 12th
1:30p.m. – 2:15p.m. – Health in all Policies (Wayne Roberts)

3:30p.m. – 4:30p.m. – Land Use Planning and Alternative Finance (Burgandy Dunn)

You can register for as many of the webinars as you would like.
More information about the panelists and the papers are available below.

Program Overview

Mark Winne is a renowned author and food policy consultant based in the US. Mr. Winne has worked on food and hunger issues for over thirty years and has extensive knowledge of food policy councils and community food system topics. Mr. Winne and will be presenting his paper entitled, “Ontario: The Case for a Provincial Food Policy Council.”
Abstract: Ontario faces a range of food system challenges, such as unequal access to affordable, healthy, and locally produced food, soaring health care costs due to unhealthy food environments, and economic problems that make it difficult for farmers to make a living growing food. Food policy councils offer an important opportunity to address problems by building solutions collaboratively. By bringing together stakeholders to harness the power of good food ideas, food policy councils can create policies, programs, and regulations that foster healthy communities and a strong and vibrant food and farming sector.

Kyra Bell-Pasht is an environmental lawyer at the Canadian Environmental Law Association. Among other public interest environmental law issues, her work focuses on the environmental implications of international trade and investment agreements. She will be presenting her paper, “Possibilities for Local Food Procurement: Trade Agreement Restrictions & How Other Jurisdictions Have Avoided Them.”
Abstract: This paper outlines how overlapping limitations and exceptions of trade agreements which relate to Ontario effectively carve out room for certain local food procurement measures. This regulatory space will be demonstrated through an analysis of public procurement measures of other jurisdictions subject to similar trade agreement restrictions as Ontario, namely: the United Kingdom, Italy, the United States, and Nova Scotia.

Wayne Roberts is a Canadian food policy analyst and writer. Among his list of accomplishments in such domains as green economics and community organizing, Mr. Roberts is widely respected for his role as the coordinator of the Toronto Food Policy Council (2000-2010) during which time he spearheaded many innovative sustainable food systems projects and policies. He will be presenting his paper, “Health in All Policies.”
Abstract: A wide range of policies can influence health, ranging from employment and education strategies to promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles. This short paper will offer examples from Finland, South Australia, and the World Health Organization to illustrate how innovative thinking around health can be used to increase the health of the population while also reducing health care costs.

Burgandy Dunn is Projects Counsel with the Canadian Environmental Law Association. She has worked in environmental law, both in the private bar and in public interest environmental law, since her call to the Ontario Bar in 2010. She has interest and work experience in environmental law, administrative law, land use planning, poverty law, access to justice, public legal education, community development, policy development, and law reform. She will be presenting her three “Policies from the Field” papers, including “Land Use Planning for Preservation of Agricultural Land.”
Excerpt: “There is a negative correlation between the supply of dependable agricultural land and the demand for cultivated land in Canada. At present, a significant amount of agricultural land near urban centers is owned by developers, awaiting development, and not in sustainable agricultural use. Meanwhile, Ontario farmers are experiencing a farm income crisis and Ontario’s ability to grow its own food is diminishing. The effects of market pressure on agricultural land are not new. [...]In order to preserve the continued use of agricultural land for farming, both development pressure and the economic viability of farming must be addressed. In what follows, a selection of policy tools has been highlighted. In each case, an example of the policy tool’s implementation and impact are provided. This summary provides an overview of some of the policies in place in other jurisdictions which may be worth further consideration for implementation (or increased use) in Ontario.”

Visit the Sustain Ontario WebEx page to register for any or all of our upcoming webinars.
The papers will be hosted on the Sustain Ontario website after the launch for further reading and referencing. Join the discussion by registering for the webinars today.