Thursday, August 21, 2008


My first thought, when I read about the Conservatives plan to privatize food inspection, was that the Liberals would be wise to draw a comparison to Mike Harris and Walkerton. Apparently, I wasn't alone, Mr. Dion goes for the jugular:
Dion links Walkerton, planned cuts to food scrutiny

The cabinet document, which has not been approved, outlines plans by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to give the food industry a greater role in the inspection process. It also spells out plans to cut millions in federal spending on surveillance for mad-cow disease.

"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," he said.

"This very conservative government does not understand what is at the core of the responsibility of a government in a society."

I've always believed, that all of the old Harris surrogates in the Harper government could come back to haunt them in Ontario. Dion uses this cabinet document, to not only scold the government for cutting food saftey, but too remind Ontarians of what happened with the previous provincial government. That comparison equates to political gold for the Liberals, the issue of Walkerton and the Harris government's complicity, are still very fresh in the minds of voters. Any sense that this gang, which just happens to be the same old gang are implementing the same sort of ideology, and the Conservatives take a very large hit.

Like I said earlier, when I first heard the story, I immediately thought of Walkerton, and it wasn't even a tactical thought. Dion is quite shrewd here, because I suspect I'm not the only one who can see the similarities, whether it be the actors or the plot. Right between the eyes.


Karen said...

Well said Steve and I can tell you that Dion mentioned this last night and the crowd went nuts, in a good way.

Steve V said...

Good to hear :)

ottlib said...

Good call Steve. I missed the connection.

Omar said...

I'm assuming you saw today's G&M poll question:

Do you think government should retain greater inspection controls for food safety in Canada?

An overwhelming 91% of respondents vote, "yes"! This is not good news for the Harperites and, as you point out, it will likely be a very troublesome sell in a Walkerton conscience Ontario.

Anonymous said...

The Liberals have been in power for five years in Ontario and i'm still waiting for them to actually reverse the Harris policies that led to Walkerton.

Steve V said...


Well then maybe you should get your head out of your ass for a second.