October 4th, 2012

Gerry Ritz’s morphing priorities

The Minister of Agriculture has finally returned to the House of Commons, now claiming his ‘number one priority’ has always been to ensure the safety of food for Canadians.

Unfortunately for the Minister, that claim isn't consistent with statements the Minister made in the House in the midst of this crisis.

His own words highlight his thoughtless and irresponsible approach.

September 24th

“The work with the CFIA to adjudicate the paperwork at XL Foods is being done so that it can start getting back into that lucrative American market just as quickly as possible.”

“I reiterate that none of the product made it to store shelves and no illnesses have been linked back to this particular strain of E. coli. We have actually done a tremendous job.”

September 25th

“I will continue to hold the food safety officials' feet to the fire to ensure that the agency responds as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

September 26th

“I want to assure Canadians that their food supply is safe. We are continuing to work with CFIA, holding its feet to the fire to make sure these recalls are done in a timely way.”

September 28th

“There is no endemic situation out there from E. coli.”

Hopefully Conservatives are finally recalibrating their priorities, but it doesn’t undo the damage the Minister has done along the way.