uOttawa’s Faculty of Law-Civil Law Section video initiative that showcases legal stories via film lens examines the barriers agricultural laws create for artisanal farmers
The first JuriDoc film from the Faculty of Law-Civil Law Section’s innovative film storytelling project Jurivision examines the regulatory barriers facing artisanal famers working in agri-food sector, one of the most heavily regulated sectors in Canada.
Jurivision is the digital platform created at the University of Ottawa in collaboration with the Canadian government’s Department of Justice to showcase and share legal knowledge through documentary-style vlogs and films.
When Civil Law Assistant Professor Sarah Berger Richardson learned about the project, she saw it as an opportunity to share her research in a more accessible format and the result is the 30-minute legal documentary ‘The Right to Farm’.
“ I wanted to mobilize knowledge and find a way to communicate my research to the public and I realized through Jurivision we have the platform to do it,” says Berger Richardson, whose interest in farming dates back to her childhood when – fittingly – watching the movie Babe tickled her interest in the ethics of farming, eventually spawning a career centred around food and agricultural law.
“Agriculture is an area of law that doesn’t receive much attention despite there being so many acts and regulations overseeing the things we eat. These touch on public health, the environment, workers’ rights, and the well-being of animals, meaning there is a significant number of laws behind every product you see on a trip to the grocery store. We eat three times a day, so food law and policy affect our daily habits.”
Étienne Trépanier, visiting lawyer-filmmaker and special advisor in Visual Legal Advocacy in the Faculty of Civil Law, led the production of the video, which follows Berger Richardson as she visits Dominic Lamontagne’s farm in Quebec for a firsthand account of the obstacles that keep smaller farmers from being able to sell their goods to consumers.
“When I started, I had no idea about the innumerable laws that would be waiting to meet our project,” says Lamontagne, author of La ferme impossible, a first-hand account of the obstacles his small farm faces with Quebec regulators. “A diversified farm has the most difficulty operating within the legal framework available.”
The full-length film will premiere on Monday, September 13 from 4 pm- 5pm on YouTube and Facebook. Professor Berger Richardson will moderate a roundtable discussion on agricultural law in Quebec with:
- André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for Quebec
- Geneviève Parent, Full Professor and Legal Research Chair in Food Diversity and Security, Laval University
- Jean-Pierre Levesque, lawyer and partner at Cain Lamarre.
For media enquiries, including an advanced copy of the full-length feature, please contact:
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