Friday, May 18, 2012

What is food to one, is to others bitter poison.

My sources tell me that's Lucretius.

Canada got a visitor earlier this week from the UN.  He had some harsh things to say about Canada's food supply, poverty, and obesity.  Nothing he said strikes me as unreasonable.  Many Canadians eat bad food, many Canadians are poor, and many Canadians are overweight.

Canada's Strong Stable Majority Conservative Government© was pretty fucking pissed about this "snooty Harvard-educated multi-professor of judicial fantasizing" coming by and offering his two cents (which may have to become five cents, as we are phasing out the penny).  To be fair, these were not the words of our Strong Stable Majority Conservative Government©, but rather the words of a journalist with Sun media. (Go ahead and read the whole article.  It's quite awesome in its staggering arrogance, indignation, and chutzpah.) Our government was much more reasoned in its response from Heritage Minister (are poverty, food security and obesity part of his portfolio?) Jason Kenny:

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney called it a waste of UN money to investigate developed countries like Canada.
“It would be our hope that the contributions we make to the United Nations are used to help starving people in developing countries, not to give lectures to wealthy and developed countries like Canada,” he told reporters. “I think this is a discredit to the United Nations.”
Kenney dismissed De Schutter’s mission as a political exercise, saying the UN’s own figures rank Canada as one of the best developed countries in the world. (Toronto Star)
I guess that being a developed country means that obviously things are peachy keen here in the Great White North, under our Strong Stable Majority Conservative Government©, and, as much as they might be loathe to admit it, they probably under Canada's Previous Corrupt Cronyistic Secretive Adscam Liberal Government.  That there is nary an overweight person to be seen.  That we don't have any poor people, and even if we did, they'd eat like kings.  That it's not hard to afford good, healthy, nutritious food on a budget.  That this kind of nonsense is an insult to Canada's Strong Stable Majority Conservative Government©.

In my humble opinion, the fact that Canada is a developed country does not make these sins of indifference nonexistent.  They make them worse.  We are relatively wealthy.  We are blessed with an abundance of natural resources.  We are big, and temperate, and have more fresh water than any other nation.  And we still have poverty and food insecurity.  We are investing our wealth not in people, but somewhere else (gazebos, maybe, or imaginary jets, or luxury hotels, or overseas, or wherever the hell our money is going).  We are paving over our natural resources, growing suburbs on our farmland and box stores in our orchards.  In countries torn by war, or famine, or drought, or disease, this kind of thing is regrettable, but understandable.  Our stance should not be righteous indignation, but rather humility and an admission that we can do more, and are letting each other down.

A friend of mine said that the response to this report revealed the CPC as "irredeemable".  She's probably right, although I think it's worse than that.  Whatever they are, they're horrible, horrible people.

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