Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My one time some time antagonist Fred Hill has co written a scathing critique of the Nutrition North Canada food subsidy program. 

Nothing new in all the critiques, but nice to see it come from two long term ex employees of INAC.

Will it make any differences to the program and will the powers that be listen? Who knows with these bunch in control, they have not to date.

Fred and I had a rocky relationship back in the days of the food mail program. At the time a small but energetic group made up of some retailers, government folk and one consumer took on the administration of the FMP mainly in the area of quality of the goods arriving in the communities and the unpredictability of the shipping.

At first Fred was very receptive of our lobbying, but as time passed and things did not improve Fred became defensive and almost lived in denial when we insisted that his assertions of how well the program was working was inaccurate.

The problems that we identified were mainly within Canada Post (who administered the program and delivered the goods) and the shippers, mainly the airline.

In the last conversation and contact I had with Fred he offered up that "if we were not happy receiving fresh produce perhaps it would be better to go back to frozen and canned products“.

As it turned out things eventually did improve and we started to received on time delivery and much improved quality and in better condition. There has been the odd dip back and forth but for the most part our hard work and assertions of crappy product and service proved to be true.

Now under the new program the quality is still OK for the most part but the promised “improved transparency and accountability” has not materialized. And until it does consumers across the north will continue to be unconvinced that this new program is for their advantage.

One thing about Fred was he always replied to phone calls and e mails himself.

You send an e mail or correspondence to this new crowd some young no nothing policy wonk replies.

Nice day yesterday with nice temp of 15 yesterday, going to be hotter today by looks of it, up to that already at the house.

Just back from the shops and the dock, warm one out there, 17 already and only 11 am. (its all relative).

Lots of people on the dock reeling in char, nice size ones too.

And the first yacht of the year just came in, French couple, sailed from Magdalene Islands to here in four days. Heading for Baffin was most I could make out with the language barrier.

1 comment:

Claude Adams said...

I'm trying to locate Fred Hill for a story we are researching on food prices in Canada's North. Can you help?

I'm a producer with Global TV's investigative program 16x9.

Thank you

Claude Adams