As Mr. Olivier De Schutter’s final report is scheduled to be released in 2013, commenting on his observations might prove to be premature at this point…but it is Mr. Lilley’s public opinions I find truly intriguing.
Mr. Lilley is quoted as saying; “De Schutter is the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. That’s a fancy title for a man who promotes a right that simply does not exist.”
He further states: “But we don’t believe in a right to food. This right to food isn’t in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is not in the 1960 Bill of Rights.”
I beg to differ.
Our Charter of Rights and Freedoms does indeed entrench food supply “rights”. With a little digging and research one will find our Sovereign domestic food supply law buried deep in our Canadian Constitution. I would speculate Mr. De Schutter has done his homework, unlike Mr. Lilley.
While most Canadians have the “privilege” to enjoy our domestic food supply, there are many First Nations Peoples that possess the “right” to our food supply through signed Treaties with the Crown. Our domestic food supply laws are part of the Covenant Chain and therefore are a contractual obligation of the Crown to the domestic population.
But there is another class of “persons” that also enjoy the “right” to food.
When our country was in the early stages of settlement, the Sovereign awarded land patents to qualifying “persons”. Land grants are in essence Sovereign Contracts that were signed, Sealed (twice), registered and valid to this day.
As stated by Lt. Gov. Simcoe in his first speech to Parliament on September 18th, 1792, the Sovereign granted farmers “… possession of the soil and climate, which under the British laws, and the munificence with which his Majesty has granted the lands of the Crown….” . The land patents are, in reality, Sovereign production Licenses giving farmers the Sovereign “right” to their food production.
But “rights” are balanced with “obligations”.
In our present Constitution, one will find a clause that states under certain circumstances (in a prescribed area) when a “person” (farmers are a class of persons with a bundle of rights) wants to trade……the Sovereign COMMANDS a license be granted ‘without Fee or Reward’.
Here in lies, in my private opinion, the very basis of our Canadian Domestic Food Supply Law…. the very “right” of food supply in Canada.
I would suggest Mr. Lilley is in the position to effectively advocate for social justice in regards to food “rights’ in stead of demonizing Constitutional protected food “rights” solely as a perceived privileged social program.
If Mr. Lilley is bent on dismantling our Sovereign food supply laws……. it begs the question…… what other Constitutionally protected ‘rights’ does he want to rid of?....... or………is he just being selective in dismantling barriers for the sake of enhanced trade without a Constitutional amendment?