I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Anita Stewart who passed away peacefully at age 73 on October 29, 2020.
Dr. Stewart was a food laureate at the University of Guelph and a member of the Order of Canada. An active, proud and engaged Canadian, she was renowned as the preeminent agri-food culture pioneer and advocate in Ontario and all across Canada. Always eager to promote the importance of culinary excellence, her Ontario spirit and positive influence made an indelible mark on us all. As a champion of local foods, she was a powerful ambassador for our meat, poultry, diary, fruit and vegetable farmers, and our gardeners, food researchers and chefs. She provided the inspiration for my private member’s bill, Bill 163, entitled the Food Day Ontario (Food Day Canada in Ontario) Act, 2020. The idea of Food Day Canada began with Dr. Anita Stewart.
You ay recall that in 2003, the US placed sanctions on the export of Canadian beef due to mad cow disease. With heroic efforts to support our agricultural community, Dr. Stewart responded by holding the world’s longest barbecue. Her successful initiative evolved into Food Day Canada, a wonderful event that continues to take place every summer.
I am humbled to have had the privilege to work closely with Dr. Stewart, who was not only respected colleague, but also my very dear friend. My deepest condolences to her sons, Jeff, Paul, and Mark, her family, colleagues and friends.