Thursday, August 21, 2008

Conservatives' Pro-Industry Approach Compromises Food Safety, Say Liberals

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion accused Conservative cabinet ministers yesterday of taking the same pro-industry approach to food safety that he says was ultimately responsible for the tainted-water deaths under their watch in Walkerton, Ont.

With the Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Toronto meat-processing plant closed in a nationwide outbreak of listeria infection, Mr. Dion accused the government of wanting to walk away from the “core” responsibility of food inspection in favour of privatization. He named former Ontario Progressive Conservative ministers Jim Flaherty, John Baird and Tony Clement as key supporters of privatization.

“It's unacceptable,” Mr. Dion told reporters during a stop in Toronto. “These are the same people – Mr. Flaherty, Mr. Baird, Mr. Clement – who are responsible [for] what happened in Walkerton, who privatized [Ontario's] propane inspection, and they want to do something equivalent about food inspections, which is at the core of what the government should do.

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