For Immediate Release
May 17, 2012
Top UN food security envoy calls for a Canadian National Food Policy
VANCOUVER – Liberal Member of Parliament Joyce Murray today called on the Conservative government to “stop blaming the messenger, and instead hear his message about the unacceptably high number of Canadians who do not have access to adequate healthy food.”
On Wednesday, May 15th, Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council and is independent from any government or organization, investigating the state of food security in Canada, released his final report and issued a scathing rebuke of this Conservative government’s failure to address the widening gaps in Canada’s food security. In his press conference Mr. De Schutter decried the absence of a national food policy in Canada.
Ms Murray was one of a group of Liberal MPs who in 2008-2009 led Canada-wide food policy consultations, seeking input for an integrated approach to food policy addressing food safety and security, environment, health, and a strong local food production and processing sector.
Liberal Agriculture and Agri-food critic Frank Valeriote noted that the Conservative Government lacks the political will to address food insecurity in Canada. There is a growing disparity between the rich and the poor, and in particular between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, leaving 80,000 household, or 2-3 million men, women and children across the country without food security.
The Harper Conservatives’ total disrespect and disregard for the severity of food insecurity in Canada is appalling, as is their continued failure to accept the inextricable link between food security and issues of poverty and income security.
During the last election, the Liberal Party presented Canadians with a comprehensive food policy for Canada that would increase access to healthy, affordable food, while also building social and economic opportunities in rural Canada. It is time that this government does the same, address this disparity on an urgent basis, and work consultatively with community groups, provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal organizations and producers to develop and implement a national food policy.
For more information contact:
Office of Joyce Murray