Canadian National Election Campaign - 'Stephen Harper Has Failed' Says Layton
The listeriosis outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of 18 people has continued to push its way into the Canadian national polical scene. The reverberations from agriculture minister Gerry Ritz's 'jokes' about the newest listeriosis death brought intense criticism from both the opposition party leaders and family members of the victims.
After a family member came forward and asked for Prime Minister Harper to fire Ritz, Liberal leader Stephan Dion called for the same thing, as did Jack Layton in a fiery speech Friday afternoon.
Layton called for four things to happen from Harper, which included:
1. firing gerry ritz
2. putting inspectors in every plant
3. not reduce amount of inspectors
4. insure foreign foods go under strict guidelines when coming into the country.
"It's something a person should not be saying at this time at all. It's not a joke," Schroh said in an interview with the Canadian Press from his home in Swift Current, Sask., on Thursday. "I mean, I wouldn't say that about anybody."
Schroh, who said he was a Conservative supporter prior to the story breaking, said he doesn't believe Ritz's apology for his comments was sincere and wants Conservative Leader Stephen Harper to fire him.
"If Harper is the right kind of person to run this country, he's got to do the right thing and get rid of this minister. Simple as that," he said.
Liberal leader Stephan Dion called for ritz's firing as well, saying during a speech today: "Stephen Harper refuses to fire Gerry Ritz, 'if you elect a liberal government, we'll do it for him!'
Harper looked irritated when pressed on it during his speech today, which was supposed to be about the economy. On Ritz's statements, he said:
"Minister Ritz clearly did not intend to make such comments publicly and has thorougly apologized."
So he would be ok with making those comments privately?
Politicians will tell you the only poll they care about is the one taken on election day. But all politicians read all the polls, and the most recent show the NDP with a firm hold of third place.
There is a telling graphic on the Simon Fraser University poll tracker website (www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/polls.html). On top, you can see a blue line (Conservatives) and a red line (Liberals) intertwined with each other like two pieces of stubborn yarn. Below those two lines -- well below -- you see a lonely orange line (NDP) meandering along with less than 20 per cent support. It has been thus for a very long time.