Thursday, October 04, 2012

Gerry Ritz should be fired - Part XIII

Agreed: "Mulcair demands Ritz resign over E. coli case." Some of us have been calling for the firing of the Ritz since circa 2008, so we're up to part 13 here on the blog. The listeriosis crisis, also occurring under Ritz's watch and the Conservatives' revision of meat inspection rules, should have brought, at the least, the Prime Minister's patented reshuffling out of this portfolio (which he seems to do in lieu of firing). This gap doesn't look good for the government at all, it's unacceptable in food safety:
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae accused the government of moving too slowly to curb the crisis. Rae said authorities in the U.S. stopped imports from the XL Food plants on Sept. 13 while Canada did not shut down the plant until Sept. 27.
"Americans were protected on Sept. 13 because no product was allowed to be exported to the United States," Rae said.
"All Canadian consumers were not protected until Sept. 27, two weeks later. Why were Americans better protected than Canadians?"
There have been two national food safety crises under this minister. Surely some third party oversight is warranted in the regime at this stage as the Agriculture Minister's leadership has been proven to be insufficient.

Previous highlights in this ongoing series:

Gerry Ritz should be fired - Part XII: In November 2010, Gerry admits no independent audit of Canada's meat inspection regime had been undertaken, as recommended by his own government's commissioned Weatherill report. To date, the audit remains outstanding.

Gerry Ritz should be fired, the original post. Prompted by Ritz's joking during the height of the listeriosis crisis in September 2008.

Ritz should be fired, part II, prompted by family members of victims of the listeriosis outbreak calling for Ritz's resignation.

Part III: Ritz is contradicted by his own officials during the listeriosis crisis when he represents that meat inspectors are spending 50% of their time on meat production floors.

Ritz should be fired, Part IV: Ritz was the author of the plan that sees meat plants self-inspecting.

Gerry Ritz should be fired, Part VI: In which Harper claims, in 2008, that they'd hired 200 new inspectors since 2006 but - in what is a familiar saga - no one knew where those inspectors were.

Part VII, just for fun.

Part XI: In November 2010, the short staffing of meat inspectors was identified. This has apparently remained true until recently, as the Agriculture Union head pointed out yesterday. That is a glaring fact.