Mulcair, Angus Meet Un Over Northern Food Prices
May 9th, 2012 - 8:24pm
The New Democratic Party has brought the growing food crisis on the James Bay coat to the attention of the United Nations. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Food Charles de Shutter is investigating Canada’s lack of planning for equitable access to food. Charlie Angus, joined a team led by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to meet with the UN delegation.
Angus says that nowhere is this inequity more noticeable than in the isolated fly-in communities of Northern Canada.
“When people in Kashechewan or Attawapiskat are paying $16 for a bag of apples or $15 for a bag of milk, there is a real problem. The Federal government has dropped the ball and it is plunging more and more First Nation families into real poverty.”
Canada is the only First World country being investigated by the UN. Angus says this fact speaks volumes.
“It is unconscionable that in a country as rich as Canada there is no coherent plan to ensure families have access to an adequate diet. No wonder we see such high rates of diabetes and illness in far north communities. People can’t afford
basic healthy food for their children.”
Last year the Federal government changed its Food mail distribution program that had been in place to help northern communities. Instead of providing cheaper mail services for food, the Government is now subsidizing large outlets like the
Northern Store to provide certain key foods at lower prices.
Angus says the new program is causing all manner of problems.
“There has been some improvements – for example in the price of milk. However, smaller competition has been frozen out and people are facing much higher freight charges. The government needs to get their act together.”