Mr. Chair, the 550 petitioners draw to the attention of the House the situation at two federally operated prison farms in Kingston. The plans of the previous government to shut down these prison farms were widely opposed in the community. The present government agreed to keep the farms open, but the petitioners believe that Correctional Service Canada's current plans for reopening the farms are very far from what the public had in mind. Current plans call for $4.3 million to be devoted to an industrial goat milk operation under the supervision of a Chinese-owned multinational and used to manufacture infant formula to export to the People's Republic of China.
The petitioners suggest that a use that more closely aligns to Kingston's community values would be to grow fresh produce suitable for supplying food banks and distributing to members of the local community who are suffering from food insecurity. The petitioners point out that this would, incidentally, also cause our own export policies to align more closely with Canada's own practice of never importing goods produced in whole or in part by prison labour.