I hear you on e coli but where is the outrage on c difficile?

- October 2nd, 2012

The opposition parties in Parliament are outraged over an outbreak of e coli that has seen 10 cases reported in Alberta. The same thing has happened in the media coverage.

Yes meat inspection in federally regulated plants is a responsibility of the federal government and any disease outbreak via the food system is horrible. Still I am left wondering why there is all of this outrage over 10 people getting sick from tainted meat when they have not raised the issue of thousands of people dying from our healthcare system.

For the last decade we have seen outbreak after outbreak of c difficile in our hospitals across Canada. Barely a word has been uttered by politicians. There has not been an outcry from the media.

Why not?

My theory is there is no direct way to attack the Harper government and there is no big, bad corporation behind the problem. The other reason is, criticizing how the recurring outbreaks of c difficile that have killed thousands across Canada would mean questioning our health care system and that is not something our media or opposition parties in Ottawa are prone to do.

Categories: Politics

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3 comments

  1. Gord says:

    Very true. For some reason the public stands for these outbreaks. Don’t think it happens in U.S. as the lawsuits would be filed before the first person died.

  2. Ronald A. Kirby says:

    C-difficile?Had a little problem with that lately. – How about the so-called “poop transplant” which has been done successfully at Brantford General Hospital several times? It works.

  3. Gabby in QC says:

    I am a committed conservative. However, at times my faith in the party is somewhat shaken by what I believe to be failures in communicating with the general public.

    Although IMO Glengarry–Prescott–Russell MP Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, has been doing a very good job in presenting the Government’s side of the issue on Power & Politics, I still think the Government could have included some other points in its rebuttal of accusations they “just don’t care about the health of Canadians”.

    Apart from the purported discrepancies or delays in disclosure of the outbreak to the Canadian public, which the opposition is using to discredit the Agriculture Minister & the Government, there have been no reminders to the public about:
    • how the opposition claims the Conservatives do not believe in science yet do not want to wait for the scientific tests confirming the presence/absence of pathogens.
    • how E. coli is a naturally occurring pathogen, not limited to beef, and its harmful effect depends on the strain involved in the outbreak. All the more reason for careful testing, which is what CFIA was apparently doing before deciding to close down the plant.
    • how the effects of E. coli can be avoided or minimized, such as thorough cooking of meat.
    • how to avoid cross contamination.
    [source of some information from Organic Trade Association (OTA)]

    In that respect, I agree with those opposition critics who say the Minister of Health should also have had something to say about this issue, showing the Government’s concern while also getting facts out to reassure the public.

    Finally, rather than continuing to use the “the NDP wants to impose a carbon tax” mantra, maybe once in a while the Conservatives should point out how the opposition parties and their allies continually try to destroy Canada’s reputation for their own political gain.

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