UN special rapporteur for food Olivier De Schutter recently came to Canada and pissed off the Canadian government. He was in Canada to spark conversation about food security in our country. Why was our government so pissed off? Well, De Schutter had the gall to point out that Canada has a shamefully high level of food insecurity for such a wealthy nation. He also drew attention to the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening in our country and that means that the number of Canadians struggling to afford a nutritious diet will only continue to grow. The Conservative Canadian government pointed out that we spend loads of money on food aid for developing nations and that De Schutter should be focusing on these good deeds and the needs of those impoverished countries. How nice that, when faced with criticism about poverty and food insecurity at home, our government tries to take the heat off by pointing out that we help poorer nations. That’s just lovely, we can’t afford to pay Canadian citizens enough money to afford a nutritious diet but we can spend billions on aid for other nations. Not that I begrudge those other nations, far from it. I just think that we need to stop turning a blind eye to the situation at home and start coming up with real solutions. Every year we assess the cost of a basic nutritious diet in most provinces, every year we find that many people (e.g. those on social assistance, seniors dependent on Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and those making minimum wage) are unable to afford even the most basic of nutritious diets. And what do we do about it? We write reports and send them to government officials and then we do it all again the next year. No wonder the UN wouldn’t have us as a member of the Security Council.