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Response to federal comments on food security

“The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.” Committee on ESCR, General Comment 12
05-23-12

In the wind-up to the tour by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Mr. Olivier De Schutter, the federal government made a number of comments publicly and in parliament on poverty and food insecurity in Canada that Canada Without Poverty has responded to.  Two letters were sent on May 22 that we have posted here: one to Minister Jason Kenney, and the other to Prime Minister Harper.

Poverty is affecting over three million Canadians, and the majority of those individuals and families are food insecure. Hunger is serious issue in Canada and the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur has helped to highlight the urgency needed to address the problem.  Canada Without Poverty is concerned that the federal government has ignored this message.

All Canadians have a right to food – a right that must be respected by the Canadian government who has ratified the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights (see Article 11).

Below is the information sent out to our Canada-wide network and links to the two letters:

To our national network we copy our letters to Prime Minister Harper and to Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Hon. Jason Kenney.  Our questions to the Prime Minister and the Minister arise following comments by various Cabinet members in the wake of preliminary findings on food security in Canada, by Mr. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. 

 For more information on Mr. De Schutter’s mission and media coverage etc., see http://foodsecurecanada.org/.  For his preliminary report, click here.  For basic information on the right to food, click here and here (the latter being from Mr. De Schutter’s web site).  And for key information on hunger in Canada, including a link to Food Banks Canada’s HungerCount 2011 report, click here.

Letter to Prime Minister Harper

Letter to Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Hon. Jason Kenney