Canada Food Act

Canada Food Act

Key provisions (based on Canada Health Act)

Canadian Food Policy

  1. It is hereby declared that the primary objective of Canadian food policy is to make sure that:

Everyone has the resources to obtain enough food (quality and quantity) to be healthy and the knowledge to optimize nutritional health.

Food production, processing, and consumption are suited to the environmental, economic, technological, and cultural needs, potentials and limits of the distinct regions of Canada. Food supply and quality are dependable. They are not threatened by social, political, economic, and environmental changes.  Canadians are consuming a sustainable diet.

The food system provides an essential public service and is linked to other related public services such as health care and education. Ownership of food system resources is widely and often publicly held.

Food is safe for people who produce it, work with it, and eat it, as well as the environment.

Resources (energy, water, soil, genetic resources, forests, fish, wildlife) are managed efficiently (in an ecological sense), and there is no waste and pollution

The resources of the food system are distributed in a way that ensures that those who provide the most essential tasks are provided a decent income. In particular, people in rural communities have enough work and income to maintain or improve their life and to care for the rural environment.

Everyone who wants to be involved in determining how the food system works has a chance to participate

Opportunities are available for creative and fulfilling work.

Food creates positive personal and cultural identity and social interaction.

Canada’s food system functions in a way that allows other countries to develop food systems with similar purposes and values, and trade with them is a priority.


  1. The purpose of this Act is to establish criteria and conditions for food policy implementation and the criteria and conditions under provincial and municipal law must be met before a full cash contribution may be made to other levels of government.

Cash Contribution

  1. Subject to this Act, as part of transfers to the province for food system programming, a full cash contribution is payable by Canada to each province for each fiscal year.

Program criteria

  1. In order that a province may qualify for a full cash contribution referred to in section 5 for a fiscal year, the food system change plan of the province must, throughout the fiscal year, satisfy the purposes of the food policy as outlined in section 3.


5 (1) Subject to this section, the Governor in Council may make regulations for the administration of this Act and for carrying its purposes and provisions into effect.

(2) No regulation may be made unless the Minister has first consulted with the ministers responsible for food policy in the provinces.

Report to Parliament

6 The Minister shall, as soon as possible after the termination of each fiscal year and in any event not later than December 31 of the next fiscal year, make a report respecting the administration and operation of this Act for that fiscal year, including all relevant information on the extent to which provincial health care insurance plans have satisfied the criteria, and the extent to which the provinces have satisfied the conditions, for payment under this Act and shall cause the report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the report is completed.