The UN right to food envoy Oliver De Schutter has advised the Canadian government to ensure that people do not suffer from malnutrition. Canada’s immigration minister Jason Kenney said the envoy wasting its resources. He criticized De Schutter’s use of resources in the investigation of Canada. Another minister said he was being “patronizing”.
De Schutter claimed that the Canadian system was unfair as it presents hurdles for the poor to access healthy and nutritious diets. He also said Canada tolerates inequalities in terms of rich and the poor, natives and immigrants. The envoy showed concern about the state of affairs in Canada and the increasing inequalities there. In spite of being criticized by the Canadian government, the envoy has not pulled back his recommendations.
De Schutter said he was concerned on the social stature of residents and Canada-born citizens. He also said one in ten families with young kids fail to meet their food requirements. His concern was extremely severe as he recommended several reforms to improve the economic situation in Canada. Canada has always looked to attract immigrants by providing offers for skilled workers and immigrant friendly norms.
On the other hand, opposition leaders at the House of Commons said they completely with the envoy’s recommendations on implementation of a national food policy to meet nutritional requirements of the Canadians as well as enhanced support for native communities. Native communities in Canada were being ignored in order to focus on immigrants. Immigrants have played a vital role in the economic development of Canada. Minister Kenney has often given credit to immigrants for overall sustainable development of the nation.
NDP MP Jean Crowder told the reporters that hunger and malnutrition were unacceptable in any nation. He said Canada is a wealthy country and this would cause serious damage to the country’s reputation. Conservative officials have recommended that Canadian states should develop definite strategies to cope up with the problem of poverty. They argued that the federal government could not handle the problem of poverty at a larger level and that the issue could be sorted out effectively at the provincial level.
Canadian health minister Leona Aglukkaq criticized UN envoy De Schutter for abstaining from travelling to the North of Canada. She said the envoy was patronizing. Ms. Aglukkaq said the envoy was misinformed. Immigration minister Jason Kenney termed the report ridiculous as it did not contain the correct information about Canada’s current state. He told the reporters that Canada would hope to give valuable contributions to other developing nation facing the problem of poverty and malnutrition. He said it was not fair to give wealthy and developed countries such lectures, thereby hurting their reputation.
UN right to food envoy Oliver De Schutter toured Canadian cities and reserves for 11 days. He also spoke to representatives of native communities and senior government officials. In addition to this, he also conducted eight civil society meetings all over the country. The only minister of the federal government to meet the UN envoy was Ms. Aglukkaq.