UN official sparks debate over Canadian food security


mentalfloss
#1
UN official sparks debate over Canadian food security

UN special rapporteur for food Olivier De Schutter said he was in Canada to launch a conversation over a national food strategy, and he certainly started a debate.

Discussion centred on whether Canadians have trouble affording to feed themselves, with the government arguing De Schutter was wasting his time and advocates for the poor urging politicians to arrange for wide-ranging meetings to create a national food strategy.

De Schutter warned Wednesday that inequality is getting worse, with many Canadians having problems getting the healthy food they require.

The 11-day visit to Canada involved looking at whether poor people in Canada have adequate diets and at social policies to support people with low incomes, he said. De Schutter said his role is to help countries identify blind spots in public policies that would be easier to ignore — and that he didn't see why he should mince his words.

"We have a large number of Canadians who are unacceptably too poor to feed themselves decently," he said.

"We have in this country more than 800,000 households who are considered food insecure.... This situation is of great concern to me."

Canada has a standard of living that is envied throughout the world, he said. But inequality is increasing and the top 10 per cent of the country is 10 times more affluent than the bottom 10 per cent. Taxes and benefits reduce inequality much less than in most OECD countries.

Canada fails to adapt its social assistance benefits and minimum wage to the rising costs of basic necessities, including food and housing, he added. Food banks are not a solution but a symptom of failing social safety nets.

'Discredit to the United Nations'


The Conservative government struck early, with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney suggesting De Schutter is wasting his organization's money by visiting a developed country.

"Canada sends billion of dollars of food aid to developing countries around the world where people are starving," Kenney said.

"It would be our hope that the contributions we make to the United Nations are used to help starving people in developing countries, not to give lectures to wealthy and developed countries like Canada. And I think this is a discredit to the United Nations."

De Schutter says most of his missions are in developing countries, but he estimates Canada has two to three million people who can't afford the diets they need to lead healthy lives. He says one million First Nations people and 55,000 Inuit are "the desperate situation" in which they find themselves.

"The right to food is about politics. It’s not about technicalities. It’s a matter of principle and it’s a matter of political will. I think these comments are symptomatic of the very problem that it is my duty to address," he said.

Consumers educate themselves about food


NDP MPs urged support for farmers and policies that ensure the working poor can feed themselves in the wake of De Schutter's report.

"This government says if you have a job, you won’t be poor. That’s not true," New Democrat MP Malcolm Allen said Wednesday.

At the same time, consumers are trying to re-educate themselves about where their food comes from, because much of it isn't grown locally, he said. Many farmers have to work off-farm to earn a living or export all their product to other countries to survive.

Hunger and consumer groups also called for a national strategy in Canada to deal with the quality, availability and price of food.

Representatives from Food Secure Canada, the National Farmers Union, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, called for a plan to connect farms with communities and to deal with a problem that sees families struggling to feed themselves.

Paul Slomp, youth spokesman for the National Farmers Union, said they agree that Canada’s food system is in dire need of attention. In the last 20 years, he said, the number of farmers under the age of 35 has decreased from 77,000 to a little more than 24,000.

"Parents who are farming are telling their kids it’s not worth the stress and it’s not worth the debt," he said.

"Canada needs to make sure that farmers have a viable income in growing food for Canadians."

The groups, representing a variety of interests and each with different demands, all called for a national food strategy.

"On a sort of common sense basis, we live in Canada. Kids should not be going to school hungry," said Diane Bronson, executive director of Food Secure Canada.

UN official sparks debate over Canadian food security - Politics - CBC News
 
DaSleeper
+6
#2  Top Rated Post
Starve the UN
 
mentalfloss
-1
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Starve the UN

No..
 
DaSleeper
+2
#4
Watch an 8 min video in 5 seconds on fast forward...man your good.... or you are such an ideologue that you will not even listen to the other side. Got it!
 
mentalfloss
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Watch an 8 min video in 5 seconds on fast forward...man your good.... or you are such an ideologue that you will not even listen to the other side. Got it!

Why don't you make a thought and I will reply to it.
 
DaSleeper
+3 / -1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Why don't you make a thought and I will reply to it.

Because you discount everything that is not in the path of your narrow ideology or post a silly cartoon....gret M.O.
Beside...You call your constant copy/pastes your own thoughts??????
 
mentalfloss
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Because you discount everything that is not in the path of your narrow ideology or post a silly cartoon....gret M.O.
Beside...You call your constant copy/pastes your own thoughts??????

I don't watch video here, so I couldn't even reply to that even if I wanted to.

So stop your baseless smears and actually make a point, or post some text that I can read.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+6
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Starve the UN


The UN has evolved into a quasi political faction that no longer serves the purpose it was originally developed for. Perhaps Canada's response to their silly 'studies' is to retract any and all funding to the UN and apply it to the dire food crisis here at home.

Me thinks that if the gvt made such an announcement, the UN would issue a new 'study' that was far less dramatic about our nation.
 
mentalfloss
#9
rofl, what is this tripe?

Food security not an issue for “Aboriginal people” because “they hunt every day,” says Aglukkaq

OTTAWA–Indigenous people in Canada don’t face food security issues because “they hunt every day,” said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq in the House of Commons Wednesday as she fended off opposition attacks fueled by the findings of the UN special rapporteur on food issues.

Olivier De Schutter, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a press conference earlier in the day that he was “struck” by the “desperate situation” Indigenous people faced in the country.

De Schutter was in Canada for nearly two weeks to investigate food issues in the country. While he visited some First Nations communities, he did not make it up to Canada’s more remote communities where the cost of healthy foods remains a constant concern.

Aglukkaq, however, dismissed the rapporteur’s findings, saying he was nothing more than an “ill-informed academic.” Aglukkaq said she tried to “educate” De Schutter during a face-to-face meeting about the real situation of Indigenous people in Canada.

“I took the opportunity to educate him about Canada’s North and Aboriginal people that depend on the wildlife that they hunt every day for food security,” said Aglukkaq, in the House of Commons, responding to a question from the NDP.

The traditional food supply in Nunavut, however, is under extreme pressure. Suppliers at Iqaluit’s monthly country-food outdoor market say they can’t keep up with demand. Snowmobiles full of caribou are picked clean before vendors can get them off the sleds.

Food prices are also expected to rise in October when the Conservative’s Nutrition North program for remote northern communities comes into force, ending subsidies for many products.

Aglukkaq fielded NDP questions on the issue which were directed at Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan who did not meet with De Schutter.

“The UN food rapporteur says he’s seen very desperate conditions and people who are in extremely dire straits, yet the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs refused to meet with him when he came to Ottawa. How can the minister continue to deny there is a problem?” said NDP Aboriginal affairs critic Jean Crowder.

Manicouagan NDP MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain also took aim at Duncan, drawing in the issue of the need for clean drinking water on many First Nations reserves.

“Will the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs keep sticking his head in the sand or take the work of the rapporteur seriously and take action on his recommendations?” said Genest-Jourdain, who is Innu.

Aglukkaq said most of the world’s hungry live outside of Canada.

“Sixty-five per cent of the world’s hungry live in only seven countries: India, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan,” said Aglukkaq. “(And) 239 million people in sub-Sahara Africa are going hungry….”

Liberal Aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett also took up the issue saying the UN rapporteur’s findings added to the list of Aglukkaq’s government failures to deal with problems plaguing Indigenous communities in the country.

“We know that the minister of health has no strategy on Aboriginal suicide, OxyContin abuse, add today food insecurity,” said Bennett.

Aglukkaq stuck to her lines, however, repeating that De Schutter was an “ill-informed and patronizing” academic.

“It is an academic study of Aboriginal people in Canada’s Arctic, without ever setting foot on the ground and walking in our kamiks for a day to get a good understanding of the limitations and opportunities we have as Aboriginal people in this country,” said Aglukkaq.

Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, an organization that speaks for Canada’s Inuit, said the rapporteur’s findings were welcome and needed.

“Whether the government accepts this report or not to me isn’t important,” said Simon, who met with De Schutter. “The fact we are able to talk to someone that will provide an assessment of the situation in Canada is extremely important for us, especially us Inuit living in the Arctic.”

Food security not an issue for “Aboriginal people” because “they hunt every day,” says Aglukkaq | APTN National News
 
petros
+3
#10
The UN is useless.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#11
The UN is bound to release a report that will confirm their usefulness in the world.... You just wait and see.
 
petros
+2
#12
Cool. I'm tired of reading the same faerie tales to my nieces and nephews.
 
mentalfloss
#13
The minister is out of touch with her aboriginal heritage.

--

Assembly of First Nations Welcomes UN Recommendations on the Right to Food, Access and Food Security for First Nations

OTTAWA, May 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo today expressed gratitude to Dr. Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, for engaging with First Nations leaders and communities in gathering information regarding food security particularly in northern communities.

"With the environmental impacts of climate change and the challenges of access to nutritious foods in northern and remote communities, First Nations must be fully involved and supported in formulating solutions to protect our traditional foods and secure affordable access to nutritious foods," said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter issued a statement which concluded that "… the situation of Aboriginal peoples raises specific concerns". De Schutter called for a reform of the Nutrition North Canada program that subsidizes retailers to serve remote communities. He also called for a structural approach to tackling the socio-economic and cultural barriers to opportunities for those living on reserves that result in their not enjoying fully their right to adequate food. Finally, he regretted that neither the federal Government nor the provinces consider that they have a responsibility to support off-reserve Aboriginal peoples in overcoming the structural discrimination they face.

The Special Rapporteur notes that on-going land claims across the country have implications for the right to food among Indigenous peoples.

"The Special Rapporteur believes that continued and concerted measures are needed to develop new initiatives and reform existing ones, in consultation and in real partnership with indigenous peoples with the goal of strengthening indigenous peoples' own self-determination and decision-making over their affairs at all levels."

AFN provided a submission to the Special Rapporteur, offering an overview of the current state of food security and advocating for right to food priorities for First Nations in Canada, including the need to develop and implement a National Food Policy reflective of First Nation traditions and values; improved access to affordable and nutritious foods, including addressing rising costs in the North by implementing price regulations for staple foods such as milk and bread; the development and implementation of a national school nutrition program; and protection of the environment to ensure the safety of traditional food sources.

Food security, an important determinant of health, addresses one's ability to access adequate amounts of nutritious foods. The First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (RHS 2008/10) indicates that 17.8% of First Nation adults aged 25-39 and 16.1% of First Nation adults aged 40-54 reported being hungry but did not eat due to lack of money for food. Comparably, only 7.7% of Canadian households were considered food insecure during 2007-2008.

Lack of access to nutritious foods contributes to growing rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases among First Nations.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN and National Chief Atleo on Twitter @AFN_Updates, @AFN_Comms and @NCAtleo.

Assembly of First Nations | Assembly of First Nations Welcomes UN Recommendations on the Right to Food, Access and Food Security for First Nations
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+2
#14
Canada should stop funding useless bloated bureaucracies like the UN.
 
petros
#15
If I could vote for UN officials, I MIGHT want to keep it.
 
mentalfloss
#16
Canada should dropkick, powerbomb, then stunner the U.N. because I says so.

I do not need to accept increasing poverty of seniors or even require evidence to support my idea. I don't like da U.N.'s so they must go!
 
petros
+2
#17
They are stunting manufacturing growth. Green kills jobs.
 
mentalfloss
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

They are stunting manufacturing growth. Green kills jobs.

Lack of food kills people.
 
petros
+4
#19
Then buy premium gasoline that does not require (by law) a 10% food content. Green **** is making food expensive.
 
DaSleeper
+2
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

No..

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

I don't watch video here, so I couldn't even reply to that even if I wanted to.

So stop your baseless smears and actually make a point, or post some text that I can read.

Then it's stupid to comment on something you didn't watch...just like a kid that that didn't try something but still doesn't like it...and you wonder why you're tagged as an ideologue.....
 
mentalfloss
-1
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

Then it's stupid to comment on something you didn't watch...just like a kid that that didn't try something but still doesn't like it...and you wonder why you're tagged as an ideologue.....

*yawn*

So, are you going to actually post an opinion or something?

Or are you going to continue to call me an ideologue because I said "No."
 
EagleSmack
+2
#22
I read the article that MF posted. So the conclusion here is that many of the poor in Canada are unable to feed themselves adequately and are oft times going to bed hungry?

What a load. That is just like them saying poor in the US are starving and millions of children are going to bed hungry when studies show that our "poor" are the most obese of all classes.
 
DaSleeper
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

*yawn*

So, are you going to actually post an opinion or something?

Or are you going to continue to call me an ideologue because I said "No."

You're confused about my opinion of what the U.N. has become??? or that I won't play your silly games?
 
mentalfloss
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeper View Post

You're confused about my opinion of what the U.N. has become??? or that I won't play your silly games?

No, I'm responding to posts on topic (like Eaglesmack's).

Get a clue.

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

I read the article that MF posted. So the conclusion here is that many of the poor in Canada are unable to feed themselves adequately and are oft times going to bed hungry?

What a load. That is just like them saying poor in the US are starving and millions of children are going to bed hungry when studies show that our "poor" are the most obese of all classes.

That actually makes sense, as the cheapest food is the worst for you.
 
petros
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

That actually makes sense, as the cheapest food is the worst for you.

Bull****!
 
EagleSmack
+2
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post


That actually makes sense, as the cheapest food is the worst for you.

No it doesn't because even eating the most cheapest food, the most unhealthy food will stave off hunger. We're talking about hunger and starvation, not being unhealthy.
 
mentalfloss
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

No it doesn't because even eating the most cheapest food, the most unhealthy food will stave off hunger. We're talking about hunger and starvation, not being unhealthy.

People who are hungry can't be fat?
 
petros
+2
#28
They don't have to be fat. For under a dollar I could feed myself and my wife without eating any excess carbs or fat and meet all our nutritional needs. All it takes is a little knowledge.
 
mentalfloss
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

They don't have to be fat.

And I'm sure not all are.

Either way, the numbers don't lie. Poverty is getting worse.
 
EagleSmack
+2
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

People who are hungry can't be fat?

People who are fat can certainly be hungry. And if their food source is completely cut off they will eventually be starving. However the fact of the matter they are the most obese of all classes so the food source is so plentiful that it has caused them to over eat enough to become over weight.
 

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