Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks about the failed ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during a news conference in Ottawa July 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

The Times of Israel reported this week:

A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians. Continue reading Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?

As food prices skyrocket, "feeble" G20 considers talking about it

Rotting corn damaged by severe drought on a farm near Bruceville, Indiana, August 16, 2012.(AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB)

Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported that G20 countries were considering how and when it should step in some sort of co-ordinated way to deal with rapidly rising prices of corn and soybean, two fundamental crops central to the diet of much of the world’s population.

Citiing unnamed G20 officials, the Times indicated that the G20  was ready to convince an emergency forum after the U.S. Department of Agriculture slashed its latest corn crop estimates last Friday. The Times did not mention Canada specifically but, of course, as one of the leading G20 economies and as one of the world’s largest food producers, Canada would be keenly interested and, presumably, involved in these discussions. Continue reading As food prices skyrocket, "feeble" G20 considers talking about it

Hungry in Canada? What were the leading parties saying a year ago?

The United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Food says Canada is “self-righteous” and says that it is “appalling” that we ignore pronouncements from the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council. Olivier de Schutter darkly warned today that Canada’s failure to heed the council – whose current members include Russia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and the Congo — will do Canada no good!

Meanwhile, as Canadians knew all along, there are too many kids going to school hungry and too many of our relatives, friends, and neighbours who live on Canada’s First Nations can’t get good food cheap.

Well, we’ve had one federal election and seven provincial elections in the last year in Canada. The incumbent government — be it Conservative, Liberal or NDP — won every single one. Given all the opportunities electors had to “throw the bums out” on hunger and poverty issues, Canadians either blew it or they disagree with de Schutter’s diagnosis.

Now, if “eradicating hunger” was a central part of any provincial campaign, I’m counting on you, dear reader, to let me know. You can count on me, in return, to help you keep abreast of federal politics. So let’s look back, just over a year ago, to what the three leading parties were saying in their election platforms about food.  Continue reading Hungry in Canada? What were the leading parties saying a year ago?

With all the hunger and food security issues in the world, the UN focuses on… Canada?

My column across our papers today takes a look at the visit this week and next of a special envoy from the United Nations, the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Its the first time this Rapporteur, who has just wrapped up missions to Syria and Benin, has decided to ‘investigate’ food systems in a developed country:

I’m not so sure Canada should be honoured in achieving this ‘first.’ In fact, it feels rather like there’s a nosy, do-gooder pestering one of the world’s model citizens when there are dozens of ne’er-do-well nations whose citizens would benefit from international scrutiny.

Not only that, this do-gooder reports to the United Nations Human Rights Council, a group whose legitimacy and credibility is untenable so long as that council’s current membership includes Cuba, Saudi Arabia and the nastiest human rights offender of them all, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Please click through to read the rest …

UN agency slams Canada on Attawapiskat

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples just released the following statement that began this way:

“I have been in communication with the Government of Canada to express my deep concern about the dire social and economic condition of the Attawapiskat First Nation, Continue reading UN agency slams Canada on Attawapiskat