Urban Agriculture Kingston

Promoting food sustainability in an urban centre

Welcome!  As you know Kingston Ontario is having a municipal election on October 25th 2010.  To help us decide on who to vote for we asked the candidates to respond to some questions regarding Food Security.  We've provided a list of the districts along with the names of the candidates.  We're providing the candidates responses which you can read by clicking on their name.  Some candidates do not have email addressess and we were therefore unable to contact them, if you cannot click on the candidates name, then they have not responded as of yet.  Thanks everyone!


Questions Posed to our candidates:

In the past five years Kingston has seen a remarkable surge in interest in local food issues. From community gardens and farmers’ markets to backyard hens. At the same time, Kingstonians are being asked by food banks and meal programs to step up and help our most vulnerable neighbors. Each year there are more people in our city who simply can’t afford to eat well. And finally, we’ve seen a huge outpouring of public support for keeping the prison farms open and keeping the prison farm land productive.
Urban Agriculture Kingston invites you to share your views on these vital issues.  As such we ask that you provide us with your views on the following topics.  We will post your answers on our website and share them with our partner organizations.  We thank you for your time.
Q 1. Kingston General Hospital trucks pre-cooked meals in from Ottawa for its patients. At the same time, City Council has decided that Kingston residents must support the hospital through our taxes.
 *Do you think Kingston needs a food procurement policy that makes sense? A local food procurement policy?  How can City Hall work to make sure that our institutions  - small and large – pay more than lip-service to sustainable local food?
Q 2. 
a) There is a growing population in Kingston of, low-income and marginalized people who can’t afford to eat, Let alone eat healthy, fresh, local food.  Food banks and meal programs tell us that demand just keeps on rising despite generous charitable support throughout our community.
b) At the same time, Kingston area farmers have trouble making a living growing food. Many need off-farm work just to get by.
* What specific policies can City Hall come up with that would help both groups?
 * How big an issue should food security be for City Hall? And Should City Hall allocate financial resources to support organizations dedicated to community food security?

 Q 3 One way to promote food security and a sustainable food system is for a city like Kingston to start an official Food Policy Council. It would come up with on-the-ground programs for equitable food access, nutrition, community development and environmental health, and would help to inform municipal policies around issues such as those we’ve been discussing here today.
*What do you think of this idea? Would you commit to working with Council and the community to implementing a food policy council for kingston?
Q4.   Community Gardens and other forms of Urban Agriculture have been shown to improve eating habits, and build community cohesion in neighbourhoods , supporting more people in growing some of their own food.
Kingston has taken some significant steps forward in the past year or so with a new Community Gardens Policy and so on, but still our Urban Agriculture efforts lag far behind similarly sized cities in Ontario.
*Can you identify 3 Kingston locations that could be considered for developing community gardens? 

Q5. Would you support a bylaw change to allow backyard hens?  Why?  Why not?

Mayor Candidates

Barrie Chalmers

Mark Gerretsen

John Last 

Kevin Lavalley

Rob Matheson

Nathaniel Wilson

Countryside District

Joyce MacLeod-Kane

Jeff Scott

Loyalist-Cataraqui District

Kevin George

David Peterson

Patrick Vecchio



Collins-Bayridge District

Lisa Osanic

Lakeside District

Mark Bain

Doug Cameron

Dorothy Hector

Joan Jardin 


Portsmouth District

Harold Hemberger

Liz Schell

Bill Wornes

Trillium District

Bryan Paterson

Vicki Schmolka

Cataraqui District

Thomas Dall

(not sent as we were not aware of his email address)

Rick Downes

(not sent as we were not aware of his email address)

Patrick Foley

(not sent as we were not aware of his email address) 

Jeffrey Lowes

Moe Royer

(not sent as we were not aware of his email address) 

Jeff Welsh


Kingscourt-Strathcona District

Sandy Berg

Brian Evoy

Williamsville District

Jim Neill

Ed Smith

Sydenham District

Bill Glover

Floyd Patterson

King's Town District

Dan Hartley

Rob Hutchison 

Sean Murphy

James Sayeau

Pittsburgh District

Ryan Boehme (no email so unable to send him our questions)

Richard Moller

Brian Reitzel   (no email so unable to send him our questions)

Carsten Sorensen