Mr. Speaker, today, February 8, is Food Freedom Day. Today Canadians have earned enough money to pay for their entire year's food supply. It takes just 38 days out of the whole year for the average Canadian to pay for his or her groceries.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2003 Canadians spent 10.6% of their disposable income on food. That number has dramatically decreased over the years. In 1997 Canadians spent over 12.5%. By comparison, Food Freedom Day in Australia falls on February 12, in Japan on February 20, in Iceland on February 27, and Mexico does not reach it until March 4.
Farmers are earning just a fraction of the average food dollar. While Food Freedom Day is February 8, January 9 is the day on which we have paid for the farmers' amount. That is right, January 9. It takes only nine days to pay the farmers for a whole year's worth of food.
We need to recognize our primary producers so that Food Freedom Day can be a day that everyone can celebrate, including our farmers.