Eat hearty, Conservative voters. Throw down your ballots for Harper and his grinning pack of kleptocrats and fundies. And if you manage to put that lizard-in-a-wig in a majority government, then head out for the biggest meal you’ve ever had.
Because under Harper, that meal may just kill you.
We should all remember the cautionary tale of Luc Pomerleau, the biologist who refused to keep silent about a gross (in all senses of the word) relaxation of food inspection rules. Pomerleau forwarded a confidential document to the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. The document outlined plans to assign safety inspection responsibilities to suppliers.
You know: leave the foxes to minister to the henhouse and all that.
Pomerleau was a 20-year public servant with an exemplary record who was doing what he knew to be best for the health and safety of the public. Unsurprisingly, he was fired.
The question of whether food inspection is better handled by government or industry is up for debate, I suppose. But this is how things get done under Harper: quietly remove the watchmen from their posts, and if someone notices, throw him over the wall.
Of course, this happened at almost the exact same time that the 2008 listeriosis outbreak killed 17 people and sickened others. Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz took the opportunity to make tasteless jokes along the lines of “This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts.” He also said “Please tell me it’s (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter” when he heard of a death in Prince Edward Island. Fun fact: Harper didn’t seek Ritz’ resignation, because he must like the company and counsel of people who don’t care about a) doing their jobs, or b) the value of human lives.