Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Media Gloss Over Real Listeriosis Threat

Since reading several articles concerning the rightward migration of the mainstream media in Canada, I'm starting to realize that people who care are right to raise the alarm.

During the Parliamentary crisis, National Post columnist, Kelly McParland, went so far as to suggest that there was a left-wing conspiracy out to get Harper. (Kelly McParland: The vast left-wing conspiracy that ensnared Stephen Harper)

"Mr. Harper's stated belief that the NDP and Bloc Quebecois were conspiring against him well before his plan to end public funding for political parties blew up in his face. I thought there would be headlines the next day: “Harper accuses opposition of conspiracy.” But not a word..." (Maybe because others not playing footsie with the Conservatives were aware of the hypocrisy)

Either McParland was deliberately trying to spin the coalition or he's been living under a rock.

In 2004, Stephen Harper did the exact same thing, meeting with opposition members before Parliament even opened. Was that a right-wing conspiracy? Hardly, since we now only have one right-wing option, representing roughly 1/3 of the population. Sadly, because of people like McParland and his ilk, that 1/3 dictates what happens to the remaining 2/3, who aren't narrow minded bigots and care about the direction this country is headed.

More recently, we've seen the media gloss over the possibility of another listeriosis outbreak, and a government once again abusing their powers rather than taking responsibility for their actions.

The media is treating it like a little spat, rather than actually doing their jobs and at least pretending to be journalists who want to keep Canadians informed.

Listeriosis outbreak still prompting political spats
August 27, 2009
The Canadian Press

Liberals and Conservatives are accusing each other of playing politics over the listeriosis outbreak one year ago that resulted in 22 deaths.

Opposition MPs on a Commons committee had hoped to hear Wednesday from Dr. Sheila Weatherill, who investigated the outbreak and issued a report to Parliament containing a number of recommendations to prevent a similar occurrence.

Instead, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food adopted a motion commending Weatherill's work and declaring that no further investigations are needed into the outbreak that was linked to a Maple Leaf Foods plant.

"Ms. Weatherill's in-depth examination has provided Canadians with a complete and comprehensive review of the events of last summer and recommendations that will improve Canada's food safety system," the motion read.

"Due to this extensive review, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food is of the view that no public inquiry is necessary."

But the Liberal Opposition accused the Conservatives of using political tricks to silence Weatherill, saying the Tories voted in favour of the motion to maintain a "veil of secrecy" over the government's handling of last summer's crisis.

"We came prepared to ask Sheila Weatherill questions about her report and find out if the government has made any progress in improving the food safety system," said Liberal agriculture critic Wayne Easter.

"Instead, the Conservatives used every dirty trick in their manual to obstruct, distort, and hide the truth by blocking witnesses from testifying." (sound familiar?)

"They'd rather show their secretive side than be open and get down to fixing the problem."

Ritz doesn't appear

The Opposition also wanted to hear from Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. But a spokeswoman for the minister told The Canadian Press that Ritz had other commitments.

"[Minister Ritz] could not make the schedule work to fit the opposition's political games at the last minute," Meagan Murdoch wrote in an email.

The political wrangling over last year's outbreak came on the same day as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a warning about deli meats from a Quebec food processing plant that may contain listeria monocytogenes.

The warning involved Compliments-brand smoked beef eye of round pastrami and roast beef from Delstar Foods Inc. of Montreal. The warning also applied to Delstar-brand smoked beef eye of round and pastrami smoked beef round club packs.

The meat might look and smell safe, but could still cause listeriosis, the CFIA said in its online Health Hazard Alert.

The recalled deli meats were distributed only in Quebec and there were no reports of illness associated with the products.

So why wasn't the headline "Canadian Food Inspection Agency fears another outbreak of listeriosis, and not dismissed as a spat?" Hope the media are all vegetarians or their own nonsense could make THEM sick, and not just me.

Back to - The Gerry Ritz Story: Can't Fall Back on Comedy

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