Ottawa experience is one two Chemainus Secondary school students won’t soon forget. From left: MP Alistair MacGregor, Hannah Pachet, Morgan Bottomley and House Speaker Geoff Rega. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus Secondary students’ bill brought to fruition

Pachet and Bottomley in Ottawa for the big moment in the House of Commons

NDP MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford and Agriculture Critic Alistair MacGregor introduced Private Member’s Bill C-430 Thursday to create a tax credit incentive for organic farming, the brainchild of two Chemainus Secondary School students.

The idea for the bill came from Grade 12 students Hannah Pachet and Morgan Bottomley, who were in Grade 11 at the time they pitched it as part of MacGregor’s ‘Create Your Canada’ contest. Pachet and Bottomley were in Ottawa to watch MacGregor bring their idea to fruition in the House of Commons.

“Farming can play a major role in climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said MacGregor. “In order to have that impact, our farming future must be one where conventional and organic farming methods come together, adopting techniques to reduce the use of harmful pesticides and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, increasing soil carbon sequestration and reducing agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions.”

The NDP has long called for a comprehensive Pan-Canadian Food Strategy to improve access to healthy food for every Canadian and ensure sustainable agricultural communities and resources for generations to come.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the quantity and quality of contest submissions, which made choosing the winning initiative very challenging,” said MacGregor. “It is my sincere hope that by working together, thinking about the issues affecting Canada, and coming up with an idea for legislation, that students stay engaged with the Canadian political process in the years and decades ahead.”

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