October 10th, 2012

It’s past time to resign, Minister Ritz

The Minister of Agriculture’s continued insistence on self-regulation and refusal to listen to workers’ concerns at the XL Foods plant make it all the more clear that he needs to resign.

“The Minister needs to be talking to the people on the ground. He needs to understand the problems at this plant and needs to be honest with Canadians,” said Malcolm Allen (Welland), NDP Agriculture and Agri-food critic. “Canadians have lost confidence in the Minister. They’re tired of Conservative excuses and inaction and it’s time for him to step down.”

The union representing workers at the XL Foods plant in Brooks confirmed that workers have been scared into refusing to report food safety issues at the plant. Among these serious concerns is a failure to properly clean knives on the production line and a processing speed that has been allowed to get far too fast.

“The information that has been slowly leaking out of this plant is concerning,” said NDP Deputy Agriculture critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé). “Front-line workers need to know they won’t be punished for coming forward with information that may help protect the safety of our food.”