Politics and its Discontents: Ministerial Responsibility

Does anyone remember that quaint notion? During the lead-up to the Falkands War, the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrignton, and two junior ministers resigned. They took the blame for Britain’s poor preparations [for the war]and plans to decommission HMS Endurance, the navy’s only Antarctic patrol vessel. Since those days, the concept of ministers taking responsibility ...

Politics and its Discontents: Chopped Liver, Everyone?

Comedians like Don Rickles, whenever he felt slighted, would turn to host Johnny Carson and ask, “What am I, chopped liver?” I couldn’t help but think of that line when I read this story in today’s Star, which reveals the following: [The Canadian Food Inspection Agency] stopped allowing XL Foods to export its beef to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Everyone is a Politician These Days

Echoing the Conservative government’s ‘hang tough’ attitude that means never having to say you’re sorry, XL Foods had this to say about the tainted beef scandal they are at the centre of: “XL Foods is committed to producing high-quality beef products and the safety and well-being of our consumers is our number one priority. We ...

Politics and its Discontents: Assumptions Can Be Dangerous

[Former Ontario Premier Mike] Harris assumed that small Ontario towns like Walkerton would have the good sense to keep their drinking water clean. [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper assumed that profit-making companies would make sure that their consumers received safe products. In both cases, they were wrong. This excerpt from Thomas Walkom’s Star column is a ...

Politics and its Discontents: Not To State The Obvious But ….

Canada’s food safety regime failed us So goes the title of The Star’s editorial this morning as it raises some very pressing questions about how over three weeks elapsed between the discovery of E.coli in the XL Foods’ Lakeside Packers plant in Alberta and the meat recall that will likely be the largest in Canadian ...