From Geneva

Friday, April 28, 2006

Mr. Foye Goes to Geneva

Hamilton Poverty Lawyer Craig Foye will address the United Nations about the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living

Craig Foye, a lawyer from McQuesten Legal & Community Services will be making an important presentation on poverty and income security to the United Nations' Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ("CESCR") in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, May 1st, 2006.

The UN committee will hear a report that makes extensive reference to the Hamilton poverty situation and outlines the very desperate circumstances in which many low income members of the community find themselves. The report is available online at

The report was co-authored by Foye, Chabriol Colebatch and Deirdre Pike for Hamilton's Income Security Working Group and takes Canadian governments to task for not meeting commitments to ensure all residents are afforded the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living as guaranteed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Canada is a signatory nation to the Covenant. Over the next few weeks, the UN committee will be reviewing Canada's commitment to maintaining the covenant's principles that guarantee: "the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions." The UN committee will hear perspectives from both government representatives and non governmental organizations. Mr. Foye was given the opportunity to attend and present the Income Security Working Group's report.

McQuesten Legal & Community Services' Board of Directors felt the opportunity to tell Hamilton's story was too important to pass by and authorized this extremely rare out-of-country expense. Noted Michael Ollier, Executive Director of McQuesten: "public funds will not be used to pay for the passage, rather all of the expenses will be covered through donated funds from concerned organizations and individuals across the community".

The Report analyzes factual evidence regarding Canada's compliance with the UN Covenant. Hamilton has been experiencing crises with regard to homelessness, poverty and food security for a number of years. Craig Foye said: "local individuals and families who cannot afford to feed themselves must turn to food banks and meal programs in numbers that have not been seen since the Great Depression". It is a sentiment echoed by some politicians as well. Hamilton East MPP, Andrea Horwath noted last week in a Members' Statement at Queen's Park: "Thirty years ago, Canada committed to end poverty-Craig's report tells us how-but today, there's more poverty than ever and it targets women, seniors, newcomers, aboriginal persons, people with disabilities and racial groups". The ISWG report has been endorsed by Hamilton City Council. Mayor DiIannni has sent letters regarding the report to Premier McGuinty and Prime Minister Harper.

On Friday, April 28th, the Income Security Working Group and McQuesten Legal & Community Services hosted a community send-off for Craig Foye. Hamilton Mayor Larry DiIanni joined in welcoming MPPs Andrea Horwath (Hamilton East) and Ted McMeekin (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot) and Members of Parliament David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre) and Wayne Marston (Hamilton East - Stoney Creek) to Hamilton City Hall for a send-off as all wished Craig well in the important endeavor he is undertaking on behalf of the Hamilton community. - posted by Tom Cooper, McQuesten Legal & Community Services


At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Luck at the U.N.!


Post a Comment

<< Home