Mr. Speaker, on October 3, the first stage of the Nutrition North program will be implemented, replacing the food mail program. The new program will be better and will cost less, according to officials with the Department of Indian Affairs.
However, by abolishing the well-established system of “entry points”, the department is sweeping aside more than 30 years of success. Expertise will not count for much under the new program because the rules of the marketplace will prevail. A retailer as far away as Winnipeg could send foodstuffs to northern Quebec, if it has the quantities needed. The logic of flying in supplies from the nearest location will no longer apply. Not only could the new Nutrition North program have negative economic repercussions on entry points, but no one can demonstrate that the program's objective of making quality products available at a low cost will be met.
It is easy to understand why the people affected are concerned.