Nathan comments during debate on a motion regarding food safety legislation, Bill S-11
October 18th, 2012 - 4:13pm
Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, at the heart of the opposition motion today is a question about ministerial accountability and responsibility. This speaks obviously to the role that the agriculture minister plays on behalf of Canadians, but also the role that the Prime Minister has to play in holding his ministers to account. I want to pick up on the last point my friend raised, because I remember well being in the House the day the minister got to his feet and said that no tainted meat will reach the store shelves of Canadians. That was the reassuring work that the minister was doing that day, when in fact that was not true at all. Canadians get frustrated, when looking to the government to protect them and their families when an incident like this happens, if they are not told the truth. Here is my question. Why does the government seem so comfortable with the double standard of allowing meat to continue to ship to Canadians while preventing that same meat from travelling to American families? I do not understand how a minister of the Crown, of the Canadian government, can feel comfortable sitting in that role knowing that is what went on day after day.