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Transcript - Nutrition North Canada

Mom and baby shopping in the produce aisle
Baby noises

Sandi Vincent -- Northern shopper, Nunavut
"I just went and I picked up a few things for dinner and lunch tomorrow and it was $300. That's not even a whole week."

Cash register beeping as items are scanned
Air plane transporting foods to northern communities
Local super market in northern community

Narrator -- It's a in the North is expensive. Transporting food to small isolated communities is definitely one of the biggest costs...But that's not all.....

Dairy aisle in local super market
Man re-stocking produce aisle

Leo Doyle -- Director, Nutrition North Canada
"They have high electricity costs, labour costs are high, the cost of building and maintenance and construction are high. All of these factors go into making the food costs more expensive in North."

Boxes of foods being loaded on to plane
Produce aisle in the super market

Narrator -- So there's no question food needs to be subsidized and it has been for about 50 years now - and it's time for a change.

Grocery cart filled with food

Leo Doyle -- Director, Nutrition North Canada
"We went out and we talked to people in various communities. We held about 80 engagement meetings across the North that felt that the program needed to be more targeted in terms of the subsidy. Umm, you had products that were convenience foods, processed foods that were less nutritious, but they were receiving the same level of subsidy as highly nutritious foods."

Sound-up of interview with shopper
What would you like to see subsidized? And what would you like to see changed?

Sandi Vincent -- Northern shopper, Nunavut
"More fruit and vegetables even frozen and canned. Yeah, those are the big things that we eat and buy a lot."

Rorenda Kennedy -- Northern shopper, Nunavut
"Vegetables, fruits-fruits, fruits, fruits. My kids love fruits but with all the prices that's so high--it's ridiculous."

Grocery cart moving through aisles of super market
Frozen caribou meat
Frozen char

Narrator -- Not only does Nutrition North focus on the delivery of healthier foods but for the first time commercially produced traditional or country food is also being subsidized.

Also individuals can still make personal orders with southern retailers who will apply the subsidy directly.

Jerri Southcott - Government of Canada
All northern communities can be reached by sea OR air. Retailers are encouraged to use ships for non-perishable items and air freight only for nutritious perishable foods like meat, vegetables, fruit and milk.

Produce aisle in super market
Shoppers at the cash register

Narrator -- And basically here's how Nutrition North works - The government subsidizes the retailers--who in turn will pass the savings on to the consumers. So who's keeping tabs on the retailers?

Basket of tomatoes
Canned foods

Leo Doyle -- Director, Nutrition North Canada
"Retailers will have a formal agreement with the Government of Canada setting out their responsibilities to give us information about pricing, food volume, umm the subsidy rate-- and basically a declaration that they're passing the subsidy on. We'll also have the right to audit the retailers to ensure that they are passing on the subsidy to the consumers."

Boxes of foods being placed in plane to be shipped to northern communities

Narrator -- Nutrition North will continue to evolve. A Northern Advisory Board is now in place to enhance the transparency of the new program, and to provide information and advice.

Women reviewing Canada's Food Guide
Mom feeding baby

For more information about which foods are eligible, your community's subsidy rate and related health promotion programs log on to

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