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Letter to the Editor: “Tory cuts to hit food inspection agency, Aboriginal Affairs” Published in the Globe and Mail April 8, 2013

April 5, 2013 

The Editors
The Globe and Mail
444 Front St. W.
Toronto, Ontario
Re: “Tory cuts to hit food inspection agency, Aboriginal Affairs” April 5, 2013.

Dear Sir/Madam,

April 2013: Federal report on the impact of cuts to the budget of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: “There is a threat that the agency will lack the appropriate inspection effectiveness to expeditiously prevent, detect and respond to threats to food safety, animals and plants.”

February 1996: Ontario Management Board Secretariat comments on the impact of proposed budget cuts to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment: "risk to human health and environment may increase.”

The 1996 Ontario warning became evidence at the judicial inquiry into the May 2000 Walkerton drinking water contamination disaster. Current federal ministers Flaherty, Baird and Clement were members of the provincial cabinet that ignored those warnings and proceeded with the budget cuts in Ontario anyway.  These individuals might want to think again this time, before they find themselves facing another inquiry into why the government of which they were part failed to protect the health and safety of its constituents.   

Yours sincerely,
Mark S. Winfield, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Coordinator Joint MES/JD Program
Faculty of Environmental Studies
York University