The United Nations Right To Food Envoy, Olivier De Shutter, has taken the Harper government to task for its cavalier treatment of the hungry:
The United Nations right-to-food envoy says the Harper government's controversial decisions to scrap the long-form census and negotiate a free trade deal with Europe will make it more difficult to fight poverty in Canada.
Those are among the many cutting observations made by Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations' special rapporteur on the right to food, who will release his report Monday in Geneva at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.
In a twenty-one page report, De Shutter:
calls on Ottawa to create a national food strategy to fight hunger among a growing number of vulnerable groups, including aboriginals and people struggling to make ends meet on social assistance. It says the strategy should spell out the levels of responsibility between federal, provincial and municipal governments.
The problem is that Harper's policies make such a strategy unlikely:
The report essentially serves as De Schutter's rebuttal to the bitter and personal public criticism he faced from Harper cabinet ministers during his 11-day fact finding visit to Canada last May.
The Harperites will not be happy. There will be a storm of disdain from Ottawa. And our international reputation will continue to erode.
Why should they feed the hungry?