Stung by a UN official’s criticism of the country for allowing some of its people to go hungry, Canada has dismissed him as a “patronizing academic” and said there are more pressing food concerns in other countries.
“Canada has long been seen as a land of plenty. Yet today one in 10 families with a child under six is unable to meet their daily food needs,” Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The Conservative government of Canada has reacted like a scalded cat. Uncharacteristically, at least three ministers have been trotted to the microphones to abhor this “ill-informed, patronising academic”. And don’t mention the facts; that obesity and diabetes rates are rocketing especially in remote communities where fresh food is expensive or unobtainable. Canada’s First Nations citizens are often poor; have high levels of violence, substance abuse and crime; have poor diets and poor health.