October 17th, 2012

NDP motion calls for Ritz’s resignation

Conservatives have to act to restore Canadians’ confidence in Canada`s food safety system

Tomorrow in the House of Commons, NDP critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food Malcolm Allen (Welland) will present a motion calling for the resignation of the Minister of Agriculture and for the strengthening of Canada’s food safety system to restore public confidence.

“The Minister hasn’t learned the lesson from the listeriosis crisis,” said Allen. “He’s still making the same kind of comments about food safety and refuses to take responsibility for the E. coli scandal.”

At least 15 people have fallen ill from E. coli linked to the XL Foods plant. It has been reported that unsanitary conditions at the plant combined with a dearth of inspectors is to blame for the E. coli outbreak.

“Self-regulation doesn’t work. It’s that simple and we’ve seen its results,” said Allen. “When people are getting food-borne illnesses because of huge cuts to food safety, all part of the Conservatives’ reckless cutting, it becomes obvious that the Conservatives aren’t sufficiently concerned about the wellbeing of Canadian ranchers and families.”

In addition to asking for the minister’s resignation, the motion also calls for the government to reverse the cuts to inspection and food safety and to direct the Auditor General to conduct an assessment of this fiasco.