Outbreak Alarms Walkerton Survivors
BROCKTON - Mayor Charlie Bagnato expressed his astonishment and
disappointment today that Prime Minister Stephen Harpers government
appears to have learned nothing from the Walkerton tragedy as it
pushes forward with deregulation and privatization of key services
to protect Canadians as the country suffers through a deadly listeria
outbreak.Mayor Bagnato said that after what happened in Walkerton
eight years ago, its discomforting to realize that so little
was learned as Canadians live through a national listeria outbreak
that has killed more than a dozen people.
Bagnato, mayor of the municipality that includes Walkerton, where
seven people died and many more became ill because of poisoned tap
water, noted there are currently three federal Conservative cabinet
ministers shaping policy for the Harper government who also sat
around the Mike Harris cabinet table when decisions were made to
cut programs, privatize and deregulate. All in the same to
save a few dollars, said Bagnato, who expressed his sincere
condolences to families who have lost loved ones due to the listeria
Governments should have learned from the mistakes that led
to the tragedy in Walkerton. I am completely shocked that Mr. Harper
has opted to make the same mistakes nationally that led to our disaster.
Food security and public safety should never be placed on the chopping
block in the name of cost cutting. Food safety is not just a line
item in a budget; it is about keeping our families safe.
In Walkerton we learned that the hard way and I had hoped
that no one else would ever have to live through that kind of situation.
I deeply regret that history seems to have repeated itself.
As was the case with the ecoli tragedy in Walkerton, a public inquiry
is needed into the listeria outbreak, said Mayor Bagnato.
There?s just no excuse for this tragic event that has continued
to unfold over the past two weeks. Innocent people have lost their
lives due to consuming something as simple as prepared meat. Not
unlike those in Walkerton who perished because they drank tap water.
The outrageous fact is that the same careless mind set existed
with government officials in both scenarios. Regulatory cuts that
achieve cost savings at the expense of public safety. Now we reflect
on those unsuspecting families that have endured senseless loss.
They will carry with them the burning question for years to come-
Related topics in Sources: Deregulation
Safety - Listeria
Hygiene - Meat/Retail
Inspection - Privatization
Health - Walkerton
Water Contamination - Water
Safety - Water
the Public Interest
The Poisonous Legacy of Ontario's Environmental Cutbacks