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Old 01-19-2012, 03:59 AM   #1
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Food safety spending in Canada might be cut

Food Safety Spending in Canada Might Be Cut

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At some date soon in February or March, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty may follow the tradition of putting on new shoes and walking into the House of Commons with a proposed new federal budget.

Ever since it received the report of an independent inquiry into the deadly 2008 Listeria outbreak that was traced back to Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto, Ottawa has approved budgets that have favored food safety with more financial support.

Now, the tide may go the other way.

The Conservative government has to deal with a projected budget deficit totaling $31 billion. It also wants to increase spending on trade, research and development, and cut red tape to help businesses.

Government departments, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), have been asked to work on budgets cuts of 5 to 10 percent. Budget cuts at CFIA could take away 234 jobs, cutting the agency's current annual spending of $744 million by about $21.5 million.

The union representing Canada's federal meat inspectors held a news conference Monday to loudly complain about the possible cuts that they claim would take CFIA back to pre-Listeria outbreak levels by taking away 170 inspectors hired after the Listeria outbreak.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, in an email response to the union news conference, said, "Canadian families can be assured that the safety of our food supply will not be affected as federal departments and agencies look for ways to more efficient and more financially prudent with taxpayer's dollars."

Since 2008, Ottawa added $75 million to implement the recommendations of Sheila Weatherill, the independent investigator who looked into the deadly outbreak that killed 22 mostly elderly Canadians.

It then added $13 million in 2010 for added meat inspection capacity, and $100 million in 2011 for increased scientific and technology capacity, with $18 million going directly to CFIA.

As of March 2011, CFIA's total staff, including inspection staff, "as well as additional essential positions relating to audit and evaluation, legal, human resources and corporate services" stood at 7,544, up from 6,961 in March 2008.

Overall, that's a bump of 583 employees.

In March 2008, inspection staff at CFIA totaled 4,571. Three years later it was up 327 to 4,898 total inspection staffers in March 2011.

That translates to 56 percent of the new hires being in inspection.

But it is not all about new hires.

The number of front-line inspectors and inspection manger working in the field in food processing plants was up 472, to 3,502, in March 2011, from 3,030 in March 2008.

That means 81 percent of the new hires have ended up in field positions, apparently through both new hires and new assignments.

Food Safety News has asked CFIA to update the employment totals for 2012 and the project has been assigned, but the latest figures are not yet available.

The possible cuts outlined in CFIA's funding estimates "would leave the food safety program reeling and severely diminish an inspector's ability to complete assignments," asserted Bob Kingston, the union president said. He said any cuts increase the risk of another major food-borne outbreak.

He was joined by Karen Clark, whose 89-year-old mother, Frances died from listeriosis after eating contaminated ready-to-eat meats processed by Maple Leaf Foods. Clark says she fears Canadians have forgotten about the Listeria outbreak.

CFIA investigations most recently peaked in the April 2008 to March 2009 period at 3,439, before declining to 2,956 during April 2010 to March 2011.

Jobs and housing are much stronger in Canada, but its economy is stuck between Europe's instability and USA's weak recovery. Since the Conservatives took over in 2006, Canada has added about 33,000 federal jobs at a cost of $75 billion.

Meanwhile, the minority New Democratic Party (NDP) is asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to just spare food safety of any cuts.

While vocal in the aftermath of the outbreak and during the independent investigation, neither Michael H. McCain, Maple Leaf's president and chief executive officer, nor Randall Huffman, the Toronto company's chief food safety officer, responded to invitations from Food Safety News to comment about the possible cuts.

Huffman, the former head of the American Meat Institute Foundation, joined Maple Leaf after the 2008 outbreak.


Don't know how I feel about this.. We need to maintain a status quo just in case a potential outbreak goes undetected.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:32 AM   #2
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i was thinking they should be increasing the budget in that regard....
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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Why make any cuts? Why not just freeze CFIA's budget.. don't increase, don't decrease. Keep everything constant.. The government has been increasing their staff and budget every year, so we might as well save some dollars and freeze it.

Like start dipping into MP's pension plans, fuck I saw that GONGSHOW on the news last night.
http://www.globalnational.com/6442562469/story.html
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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The wheat board that kept monsanto out of canada was dismantled prior to them getting approved also. Enjoy your GMO products boys and girls.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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I'd say cut it 100% from a taxation revenue stand point and make the industry pay for it. Yeah, food gets a little more expensive, but taxes are lower.

Lawyers pay for legal aid. Same shit.

We have got to get off this idea that the government needs to pay for everything.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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The wheat board that kept monsanto out of canada was dismantled prior to them getting approved also. Enjoy your GMO products boys and girls.
Yeah, that wheat board thing didn't sit right with me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting rid of a gov't entity, but I didn't like the logic of farmers wanting to sell for a higher price on the open market. That's fine. But the wheat board also has a price floor if I recall.

Just setting themselves up for greed, and pain when the prices plummet.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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I love how unions always threaten "cuts == layoffs"

The Conservatives are being fair and asking every department for 5-10%. Many are going to achieve this by not replacing retiring/leaving staff, and cutting back on expenses or sharing services.

Worst case, they could all take a 5-10% pay cut, or cut some benefits or lower pension expectations - all without a single layoff.

To those in a union, especially on this site as most here are young - remember that unions cut from the bottom. As a new union member, you're the sacrificial lamb - they have no interest in protecting your job.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:21 AM   #8
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Why make any cuts? Why not just freeze CFIA's budget.. don't increase, don't decrease. Keep everything constant.. The government has been increasing their staff and budget every year, so we might as well save some dollars and freeze it.
The Cons want every department to cut 5-10%. We're running a deficit, so they need to cut or increase taxes.

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Like start dipping into MP's pension plans, fuck I saw that GONGSHOW on the news last night.
National | Time to shut down MPs lucrative pension plan: watchdog
Yep, MPs should look in the mirror and cut their own fat before expecting others to cut too.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Death2Theft View Post
The wheat board that kept monsanto out of canada was dismantled prior to them getting approved also. Enjoy your GMO products boys and girls.
dairy & eggs are next


fucking cons and the tards that voted for em

Last edited by StylinRed; 01-19-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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dairy & eggs are next


fucking cons and the tards that voted for em
You are welcome.
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