OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 4, 2012) - Today, a headline in the Globe and Mail states, "Alberta Beef Plant Resumes Partial Operations." Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz had the following to say in response to this false report.
"This is false - the XL plant will not be allowed to reopen until the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed that it is safe.
"Canadian consumers and their families have always been and will continue to be the Government of Canada's first priority when it comes to food safety.
Our record is clear:
- Since 2006, our Government has provided significant funding including over $50 million in Budget 2012 building on the investment of $100 million in Budget 2011 to improve our food safety system.
- Our Government has provided the resources to hire an additional 700 net new inspectors, which includes 170 net new meat inspectors.
- Our Government introduced the Safe Food for Canadians Act last spring that will help the Canadian Food Inspection Agency keep Canadian food safe.
"I remain in constant contact with the leadership of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to ensure they are fulfilling their responsibilities.
"I also went to XL Foods Inc. yesterday to personally ensure that everyone - from the executive in Ottawa to the in-depth review team in the facility - understand that the health and safety of Canadians is our first priority.
"The facility will not be allowed to reopen until the President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed, in writing to me, that it is safe.
"Canadians can be assured that they are and will continue to be our first priority."
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz