Mr. Speaker, I have a return to oral question asked by Mr. O'Reilly on August 16, 2019, regarding Food Establishment Safety Regulations.
The Food Establishment Safety Regulations were amended as part of the Department of Health and Social Services' efforts to advance the GNWT Agricultural Strategy and better support the sale of locally produced, low-risk foods, as well as to reflect current best practices and standards for food safety.
These amendments reflect engagement with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Environment and Natural Resources, and Lands, in order to support the NWT's emerging agricultural and food production sector. Feedback was also received from food establishment operators during routine work of the environmental health unit with permit holders, including active engagement with Yellowknife and Inuvik Farmers' Market operators. For example, the amendments address some of the concerns brought forward to the department earlier this year in Inuvik, around permitting, durations, and restrictions.
Supporting resources, such as an event coordinator forum, were also developed to assist emerging community market requirements. A version of this forum was piloted with the Yellowknife market prior to being finalized for implementation with these new regulations. These amendments are just one step in developing a comprehensive regulatory framework for safe agriculture and food production practices in the Northwest Territories.
Looking forward, the department had begun work on meat inspection regulations under the Public Health Act to provide the necessary regulatory framework for abattoirs and meat sales. As this work progresses, the department will participate in work to advance an overall regulatory framework for safe food production and sales in the Northwest Territories.
This work will be a partnership with ITI, ENR, and Lands in order to ensure that the regulatory framework addresses human health, animal health, environmental protection, as well as land use management. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.