Canadians are well aware of the national beef recall which has implicated XL Foods, an Alberta-based meat processing facility.
Such a complex issue is often accompanied by misinformation, and the facts deserve to be heard.
What Liberal MP Frank Valeriote [Omnibus bill put food safety at risk, Oct. 11 Letters, TIMES] fails to point out is that, in response to years of neglect of our food safety system by past Liberal governments, our Conservative government hired more than 700 additional new food inspectors since 2006 - including 170 meat inspectors. We did so with no help from the opposition, who voted against this initiative.
Second, our government recognizes the importance of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and increased its budget by $156 million, a 20-per-cent increase. Once again, the opposition voted against it.
Third, our government has tabled Bill S-11 - known as the Safe Food for Canadians Act - which strengthens the authorities under which CFIA acts.
The opposition has already stated they will not support this bill.
Since the beef recall began, our government's strong record on food safety has been misrepresented by the opposition parties.
For example, the claim that the recommendations by an independent review of the 2008 listeria outbreak have yet to be implemented is simply not true. In fact, all 57 recommendations of the independent investigator into the 2008 outbreak have been implemented.
In addition, we have increased funding for food safety multiple times since 2006, including by $52 million in our last budget alone.
Canada has a strong food safety regime and our government is aiming to make it even better with the proposed Safe Food for Canada Act.
We ask the opposition to stop playing political games and get serious about food safety in Canada by supporting our bill to strengthen the authorities of the CFIA. The health and safety of Canadians, particularly when it comes to food safety, is a priority for our Conservative government.
Randy Kamp, Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission MP