Feature interview: a pilot project towards food sovereignty in Northern Canada

Fresh produce can be hard to come by in many Northern communities and when it is not scarce, it is expensive. (iStock)
Fresh produce can be hard to come by in many Northern communities and when it is not scarce, it is expensive. (iStock)
During his annual visit to the Arctic last month, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper announced that an experimental modular farm station would soon be built in the town of Hay River, in the Northwest Territories.

Located on the campus of the Northern Farm Training Institute, the facility will be outfitted with state-of-the-art energy-efficient technology, like programmable LEDs, which are designed to make growing fruits and vegetables indoors in Arctic conditions possible, year-round.

The AgNorth pilot project will be run by researchers from the University of Guelph, in Ontario.  They will be experimenting with production with the aim of ensuring that Northern communities have access to fresh, healthy produce at a reasonable cost.

(Susan Bubak)
(Susan Bubak)

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at the University of Guelph wrote in the Ottawa Citizen that the “initiative was long overdue”.  Charlebois discusses the project in an interview with Caroline Arbour.

Caroline Arbour

Caroline got her start in journalism at RCI, filing items in French and English from its Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver bureaus. Bitten by the radio bug, she also nevertheless subsequently tried her hand at reporting for television, print and the Web, freelancing for Radio-Canada, CBC, Voice of America, L’actualité magazine and The Atlantic’s business site Quartz. Her favourite stories to cover are ones that show resilience in its many forms and also ones that highlight no issue is ever black and white. In Caroline’s wildest and weirdest dreams, she imagines spending her days roaming the Andalusian countryside on a vintage motorcycle, photographing its diverse and stunning beauty.

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