New mandate letters

The Prime Minister released new mandate letters for ministers.  A few highlights:

  • the development of a National School Food Policy and nutritious meal program has been assigned as lead to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food (AAFC).  Others to be involved include the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous partners and stakeholders but not the Minister of Health. This builds on the 2019 commitment to open discussions with the provinces and territories, but there is no indication in the mandate letters how these discussions will take place (see Goal 3).
  • the Minister of AAFC is also supposed to work with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion on a food system labour force strategy (see Goal 8), on Business Risk Management programs  to better reflect environmental sustainability, and on a green agriculture plan
  • the Minister of AAFC is also to support the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to establish a Canada Water Agency and strengthen the Freshwater Action Plan
  • the Minister of Health is supposed to continue work on advancing the Healthy Eating Strategy, including front-of-package labeling to promote healthy food choices and  restrictions on the commercial marketing of food and beverages to children
  • the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is to introduce Canada's first Aquaculture Act
  • the Minister of Environment and Climate Change is to work on a global agreement to reduce plastics, and to reduce nature loss in Canada by 2030

These mandate letters represent some very modest progress on national food policy implementation.