Christina Spencer wrote in "MP's want public listeriosis hearing", (St. Catharines Standard, Feb.12, 2009):
"Unhappy with the federal government's low-key inquiry into the listeriosis tragedy, opposition MPs will ask the agriculture committee today to hold public hearings into the outbreak that killed at least 20 people.
"We learned from Walkerton and action was taken," said Liberal MP Mark Eyking, vice-chairman of the committee. "Well, we lost lives here and action should be taken.
"I don't think there's a scare about our food yet, but I think we have to learn from what happened."
NDP MP Alex Atamanenko's motion for a public hearing is likely to pass because opposition MPs outnumber Conservatives on the committee.
Atamanenko said the Conservative government's appointment of an independent investigator into the outbreak won't be thorough enough.
A parliamentary committee would have the power to call or subpoena witnesses and could work in the open.
Three weeks ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Sheila Weatherill, an experienced health administrator, to investigate the outbreak last summer that resulted from contamination of meats from the Toronto Maple Leaf Foods plant.
Her terms of reference prevent her from public comment until she's finished. Her report is due July 20.
Conservative Larry Miller, who chairs the committee, said he would like Weatherill's investigation to proceed without a parallel inquiry by the committee.
"I would just urge everybody to be patient and see what comes out of it.""
Strange, isn't it, that these same opposition MP's haven't bothered to demand any investigation into Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's Liberal-run health-care monopoly, where hundreds of patients lost their lives in recurring C. difficile outbreaks during health-care under-funder McGuinty's Liberal reign.
The listeriosis outbreak IS being investigated federally; but provincially, no investigation, not even a "low-key" one, has been launched into the hundreds who were killed by and in Dalton McGuinty's Liberal health monopoly.
The federal government has a role to set national standards for health-care, and transfers billions in taxes to Ontario for health-care. Why no stipulation or demand from these same federal MP's that Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty, former health minister George Smitherman, current health minister David Caplan, and MPP's such as Jim Bradley and Kim Craitor, provide answers for why these deaths occurred on their government's watch?
This whole tragedy has been hushed up by McGuinty's secretive, unaccountable, and dangerous Liberal-majority government. There is no independent investigative access to the inner workings of Dalton McGuinty's Ontario health-care monopoly. McGuinty's majority Liberal government even hid from and denied Ontario's ombudsman access to investigate the hospital system. There is no way of verifying the Liberal government's health-care claims.
Apparently, we are just supposed to take the smug word of McGuinty's Liberals (who've never lied before!) that 'everything's fine with health-care, don't worry'.