October 23rd, 2012

Statement from agriculture and agri-food critic Malcolm Allen on the rejection of his motion

The largest recall of contaminated beef in Canadian history was not enough to open the eyes of the prime minster, who voted against our motion which was intended to reverse budget cuts to the food safety system, and to remove the minister of agriculture from office.

Minister Gerry Ritz’s inaction has exacerbated this crisis caused by an unprecedented recall of beef from the XL Foods plant. By failing to take any action to restore Canadians’ confidence in the meat processing industry Ritz has ultimately failed to do his job.

The Conservatives’ attitude towards Canadians clearly shows that they haven’t learned anything from the 2008 Listeriosis disaster which took the lives of 22 people. Their poor management of that crisis showed Canadians that consumer protection is simply not a priority for the Conservatives. This latest crisis proves, once again, that self-regulation does not work. The NDP will continue to hammer this point home until the Conservatives finally see reason.

The NDP will never target food safety funding. Instead, we would like to reinforce the system in order to protect the health and lives of all Canadians.