Yes, there are three main weaknesses we've identified through the pandemic. We knew of them before, but they've been really magnified now.
The first is, I think, a really profound lack of understanding of how Canada's food system works. We know that more and more consumers are urban based, and they've sort of lost that connection to where food comes from. I think we're also seeing it with our policy-makers. Probably 95% of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's resources, its staff, are focused on primary agriculture. That's important, but what we don't have is any department in this federal government that is focused on the entirety of the food system and understanding how the entire food system works.
We also have a problem with the high concentration that we have in the retail sector in this country. It's virtually impossible. I mean, we, ourselves, are price takers in many cases, but 90% of the food companies in Canada would be considered small or mid-sized business, and they simply don't have the power to negotiate on an equal footing with large retail enterprises.
Finally, and this is a perennial Canadian problem, is the split jurisdiction between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. I know this is something that we all deal with, but we're in a crisis, which is really akin to this country being at war, and when we're in a crisis situation, we have to have the mechanisms where we're not sitting on calls with government officials who are saying, “Well, that's the province; that's not us”, and then we have to go off and try to figure that out. I understand it's difficult, but we need to work together to find better ways to link that communication together. We don't have the time, as a country, to sit and wait for all of that to be sorted out.