The quote above comes from the Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty, but the rest of what he said is more ominous:
"So we've got a new bill that we will shortly be introducing, the Local Food Act....We're buying the food anyway right now, for example, in our public institutions. It's just a matter of ensuring that we're using our purchasing power to support local agriculture."
You don't have to be a mathematician to realize that $10 more per week adds over $500 to the annual family budget, which would be fine if it were your choice to do that or not. There is nothing wrong with supporting local industry if you think it helps the economy. Typically it does not, and the extra money spent often means that other parts of the economy will suffer. The ominous part is that a Local Food Act, prepared with the help of a lobby group, to "encourage" people to buy locally, well, that sounds like a tax of sorts. It's the kind of thing that hurts the poor the most, because any additional cost subtracts from their meagre discretionary income the most. There are almost 5 million family households in Ontario, and at $500 a family, you can see where McGuinty gets his figures in the first paragraph.
In Canada we already have a system that forces citizens to buy locally grown produce at additional costs for eggs, poultry and dairy products, its called supply management. I've already discussed this here and here.
You might wonder how Canadians feel about paying more for local produce, wonder no longer. Despite the "politically correct" comments that you may hear from your neighbours, the fact is Canadians are voting with their feet in greater and greater numbers to avoid uncompetitive food prices. Check out this article from Jesse Kline in the National Post.
The bad news is this type of legislation is likely to pass because of the composition of the legislature, there is no good news.