Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Murray Mandryk and Bruce Johnstone both thoroughly slam Gerry Ritz and the Cons for their food-safety negligence. But Johnstone hints at the larger issue:
Ritz, for all his faults, is not the cause of this latest debacle. He's merely a symptom of a bigger problem with the Harper government: specifically, it's (sic) ideological fixation on smaller government, it's (sic) blind faith in self-regulation and its tendency to micromanage every aspect of government policy.
- And Lana Payne reminds us why we should know better than to think there's any merit to anti-regulatory corporatism:
The latest food safety scandal begs the question: does anyone sitting in the federal Conservative caucus remember the lessons of Walkerton?

It was, after all, just a little over a decade ago that Canada’s worst outbreak of E. coli in the water supply of the small Ontario community of Walkerton took place, killing seven people. Another 2,300 residents fell ill in the same tainted water scandal.

The deaths and the subsequent outrage forced then Conservative premier Mike Harris to call a judicial inquiry — an inquiry he, as premier, was also compelled to testify at.

Certainly federal ministers Jim Flaherty and Tony Clement should remember the lessons of Walkerton. After all, they were part of the Harris government that ravaged public services, privatized important safety tests and gutted regulations.

Justice Dennis O’Connor, in his January 2002 report into the Walkerton tainted water scandal, concluded that had funding at the Department of Environment not been slashed, the worst-outbreak of E. coli could have been avoided. In other words, government cutbacks were partly to blame for the death of seven Ontarians.

And here we are again.

Some of the faces are the same. Certainly the ideology is. Hacking and slashing government jobs, programs and services without a mind or a thought to how those cuts will impact or hurt Canadians.
- Meanwhile, Stephen Maher reports that the Cons aren't exactly escaping responsibility for drinking their own Kool-Aid in other areas - as MPs are now on the hook for costs after a dismally-failed attempt to put roadblocks in the way of the Council of Canadians' challenge to Robocon-influenced election results.

- Finally, Susan Riley points out that we shouldn't be too quick to assume that younger politicians will offer up new ideas - especially if relative inexperience make a younger leader more easily captured by party insiders.

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