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In Quebec election, party leader pledges more local food, better labels


Quebec consumers will have an easier time buying made-in-Quebec foods at grocery stores, should the upstart Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) win the upcoming Quebec election.

On the campaign trail, CAQ leader François Legault unveiled an agricultural policy that includes a promise his government would guarantee clear labeling of Quebec products to make them more easily identifiable on store shelves.

The new regulations would be accompanied by a major campaign to promote local buying.

As well, imported agricultural food products would be subjected to the same norms as Quebec products, putting Quebec food-makers on the same footing as foreign competitors, Legault said during an Aug. 16 news conference. “Currently, it’s not equitable,” he said.

Legault acknowleged the matter would require negotiations with the federal government which has jurisdiction on the labeling of foods that are imported to Canada.

However, the labeling of some foods sold in Quebec, such as dairy products, meat and fish, must be approved by Quebec’s agricultural ministry.

It’s not the first time the CAQ has gotten involved in food labeling. Last June, the party presented Quebec’s National Assembly with a petition bearing more than 14,000 signature demanding the government make it compulsory to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms.

Legault also pledged to make intergenerational transfers of farms easier by providing a capital gains exemption of up to $750,000 on sales to children.

So far, opinion polls indicate the Parti Québécois narrowly ahead in a close threeway race, followed by the Liberals and the CAQ.

Quebecers go the polls on the day after Labour Day.

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