UN Rapporteur: Harper's agenda contributing to food insecurity in Canada

Food Secure Canada is hosting over 50 events across Canada Monday, part of a webinar with Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, who will be delivering his report on Canada in Geneva to the UN Human Rights Council. 

"Food is a human right that belongs to every one of us," said Diana Bronson, Executive Director of Food Secure Canada, who are organizing the country-wide webinar.

The Canadian Press is reporting that De Schutter's 21-page report:

takes direct aim at some of the core items of the Harper government's agenda, saying they undermine access to food.

These include the controversial decision to cancel the long-form census in 2009, the ongoing Canada-EU free trade negotiations, the scrapping of the Canadian Wheat Board, and how Ottawa oversees the money it transfers to the provinces for social services.

De Schutter visited Canada on a fact-finding mission in May 2012, concluding: 

Canada has long been seen as a land of plenty. Yet today one in ten families with a child under six is unable to meet their daily food needs. These rates of food insecurity are unacceptable, and it is time for Canada to adopt a national right to food strategy.

During his visit, the Conservative government's Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq criticized the UN Rapporteur as "ill-informed" and "patronizing." 

Food Secure Canada is hoping that the government will take these latest recommendations seriously. 

"Millions of Canadians are hungry, we have escalating rates of diet-induced chronic diseases and we are losing thousands of farmers every year," said Bronson. "This is an urgent, national problem that can and must be addressed."

The cross-Canada webinar will take place starting Noon EST Monday, with an additional session Tuesday, March 5 to be held in French. 



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