Former Edmonton health chief to investigate listeriosis outbreak

Former Edmonton health chief to investigate listeriosis outbreak.

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Tuesday that Sheila Weatherill, a past CEO of Capital Health in Edmonton, has been  appointed  to act as an independent investigator into the outbreak, which sparked a recall of many sliced meat products across Canada. [end of quote]

This only after criticism earlier this month that the PM was delaying the critical process and putting Canadians at risk. The new deadline for the report is now not due until late July, a four month setback and almost a full year after the deadly Listeria bacteria caused death and illness from Listeriosis.

Further it is reported that because Prime Minister Harper did not choose to give Weatherill full judicial inquiry powers, that the report will not be effective and leave Canadians at risk – this according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. 

Killer Listeriosis Outbreak – Government Broken Promises put us all at risk -UPDATE

The Harper government has not named the lead investigator into a Listeriosis outbreak that killed 20 people. He promised last year to “get to the bottom of what transpired”. With only 3 months left before the report was to issue findings Harper has done nothing. People are still at risk. Listeria bacteria exists in all meat processing plants…[end of excerpt – source cbc.ca]


First reported here on the Missionlog last August[ see Deadly Listeria Bacteria – Tainted Deli Meats Linked to Food Deaths – Maple Leaf Foods – Toronto ] The hope was that progress had been made in the government’s food inspection process, but the recent news reports show that the health and safety of Canadians is not a top priority with the current minority Conservative government. The company involved – Maple Leaf Foods, has done far more:  read about it here.

Our concern now, as then, is with the homeless street people that we serve. Many of them are included in the groups identified by Health Canada as being at greater risk of contracting listeriosis from the listeria bacteria found in most luncheon meats.  Project417 has always advised independent sandwich run groups not to make sandwiches with fresh deli meats due to problems with food spoilage – Many of our street friends have gotten sick in the past from eating bag lunches prepared by well meaning but uninformed church groups and other volunteers who go out on unsupervised sandwich runs. Even though in the past Public Health  nurses had advised that bologna was a good choice for sandwich runs due to preservatives, as a result of the news reports and Health Canada advisories, we updated the Project417 website with a notice to groups to avoid any sliced meats for use in sandwich runs to the homeless and stick to the tried and true PB&J or plain process cheese slices. That advisory still stands. Check back for more updates soon.

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From canayjun.blogspot.com – P.M. Harper’s Address on TV

Prime Minister Harper’s Address to the Nation on TV

Normally devoted to issues of homelessness, humanitarian aid and disaster relief – This event is so important to Canada that I re-published it here from my Canada News Commentary blog at canayjun.blogspot.com

UPDATED 12:00 Noon, Dec 4 – Parliament suspended. Gov. Gen Michaelle Jean has approved Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s request to suspend Parliament, agreeing to put the government on hold until the end of January, the legal stall tactic used by the Prime Minister is called “proroguing parliament”.

UPDATED 9:16PM, Dec 3 – Click the title above to link to the video feed of Prime Minister Harper’s address from CTV.ca or from YouTube Canada right here:

For the full text of the speech including Dion’s response click here
Harper focused his attack on the coalition by referring to “backroom deals” struck with separatists, an obvious reference to the Bloc and leader Gilles Duceppe. He did not mention that he will meet with the Governor General tomorrow at 9:30 am, nor did he say he would seek to suspend parliament. He spoke only of ongoing meetings and deliberations in advance of a full budget he wants to release in January, 2009 [Can we afford to wait?]


In a little less than two hours, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will address Canadians on a television broadcast to be carried by the major TV networks.

It is the minority Conservative Party leader’s latest attempt to stave off the impending non-confidence vote and the proposed Liberal – NDP – Bloc Coalition Accord to defeat the minority government and assume majority control of Canada’s parliament. It is expected that Mr. Harper may announce that parliament will be “prorogued” or temporarily suspended until January, a date he has mentioned as when the Conservative Finance Minister would be ready to submit a more complete budget to the Canadian people.

As one who is calling the Coalition an undemocratic bid to take control of the government, Prime Minister Harper should take a page from his own book. What could be more detrimental to the democratic process of government in Canada than suspending the house? While parliamentary rules allow parliament to be prorogued after a minimum of one sitting, this would be a most blatant attempt at minority control of the will of the people of Canada.

Prime Minister Harper and his minority Conservative Party have never won a majority in Canada, having garnered only 37 percent of the popular vote. The Coalition represents 62 percent of Canadians and holds 163 seats in parliament versus 143 seats for the Conservatives. Stay tuned to the Canayjun’s Canada News Blog here for real time feeds of Harpers address.

The following links and previous post here on the blog will give you a good background.

Canada’s PM to address nation in crisis

Text of the Coalition Accord

I’m part of the 62 percent majority

Coalition for Change – the 62 Percent Majority Petition

Toronto Streets to Homes Program Just U.S. Homeless Czar’s Mistake

Gentrification of Jarvis & Shuter

Gentrification of Jarvis & Shuter

From Street Nurse Activist Cathy Crowe Newsletter #48 Summer 2008 – by Beric German:

Philip Mangano, often referred to as Bush’s homelessness czar, promotes a “housing first” policy. The Bush administration, and the Harper government, are concentrating on “street homelessness” (those people visibly living on the street), instead of funding sustainable affordable housing programs.”

The program is really about hiding the homeless! Many of my volunteers on the Project417 sandwich runs already have heard me, and our friends on the streets, tell of the appalling condition of the housing offered to the street homeless through the Streets to Homes programs: Small, cramped rooms and tiny basement apartments, crumbling walls and ceilings, old lead paint, asbestos insulation, parasites like bed bugs and lice, broken plumbing, and little choice in the tenants with whom you have to share. I wish there were statistics on how many Streets to Homes rooms were located in known crack houses.

Streets to Homes has had some success, but it is only dumb luck and the perseverance of the homeless themselves in choosing acceptable accomodation. By far the majority of “homes” offered are sub-standard and actually lead to tenants turning to homelessness on the streets again in a short time. Their choice is really a lack of choice. Tell our governemnt, at all levels that homelessness is not to be solved by hiding the problem, but by providing safe, accessible, affordable hosuing where banyone would choose to live with pride and dignity.

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