According to the Union des producteurs agricoles de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UPA), even though the Government of Quebec has announced several assistance measures to promote food self-sufficiency, some of these programs are little or not adapted to regional reality. .
For its president, Pascal Rheault, the problem is that government programs do not take into account local realities.
Same story for the president general of the UPA, Marcel Groleau. Cereal production is one of the examples that Mr. Groleau does not hesitate to use to illustrate the situation.
«There is no difference between producing wheat in Quebec and producing wheat in Abitibi-Témiscamingue in terms of support programs. So, if the risks are higher in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, producers are less interested in going towards these productions because they do not have good coverage or as good risk coverage as if they were at the Center. -of Quebec», He explains.
Eat local more than ever
Video: Non-compliant items in nearly one in five orders at the start of the pandemic (Le Devoir)
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Major COVID-19 outbreak at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute
It’s the start of the fight at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal. No less than 23 patients have contracted COVID-19 in an inpatient unit for mood disorders for the past week. No staff were affected. But the establishment’s red unit is about to overflow. COVID-19 has spread like wildfire in the mood disorder inpatient unit. A first patient received a positive screening test on January 15. A massive screening operation then took place among hospitalized people and staff of this unit. Nine new cases were detected. “The unit has gone from green to lukewarm,” says Amine Faadi, deputy director of the mental health and addiction program at the CIUSSS de l’Ouest de l’Île-de-Montréal. All positive patients were transferred to a dedicated COVID-19 unit. Patients and staff were re-tested five days later. “13 patients came out positive,” says Amine Faadi. The CIUSSS is now trying to reach the family caregivers of patients in this unit so that they can go to a screening center. Visits have been suspended. Dr. Gustavo Turecki, head of the psychiatry department at the CIUSSS de l’Ouest de l’Île-de-Montréal, emphasizes that this outbreak is “very important”. “We have already had outbreaks of a few cases here and there at the Institute,” he said. But this time the number [de patients infectés] is very high. “
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Towards a new turn of the screw for travelers
Quebec continues to ask the federal government to ban non-essential trips abroad, but offers a compromise: that at least people returning to the country are forced to do their quarantine in a supervised hotel, at their expense. Ottawa would be open to this idea, especially since an outright travel ban would be more difficult to enforce than it appears.
The achievement of food autonomy is at the center of the concerns of the UPA. About 80 local producers will take advantage of the federation’s annual general meeting to define the ways and means of achieving this.
For Pascal Rheault, the COVID-19 pandemic has sounded the alarm. “COVID has nevertheless raised awareness of the importance of our regional agriculture and of consuming our products.», He emphasizes.
In this project, farmers in the region have so far been able to count on the support of local customers. For the co-owner of Les Jardins Tomates et Camomille de Rouyn-Noranda, Kamylle Béchard-Plourde, it is a win-win exchange between the producer and the consumer.
«My clients, when they encourage us, they have the impression of participating in a project. They make purchases that are responsible for the environment, for their own health“, she says. The farmer reveals that in return she “keeps the economy going” in her own way, by hiring staff, for example.
The positive response from the population has enabled Abitibi-Témiscamingue farmers to consolidate their businesses. About thirty new farms were created in 2020 in the region.