27 August 2008

The proof is in...

...the pudding-head.

-- Financial Post -- The most overblown comments have come from Liberal leader Stephane Dion, who has suggested that the Maple Leaf situation reflects that of the tainted water tragedy at Walkerton eight years ago, when seven died and several thousand became sick.

Mr. Dion pointed out that Mr. Clement was part of the Mike Harris Ontario government that was allegedly "partly" to blame for the deaths at Walkerton.

The Liberal leader went on to accuse the federal Conservatives of "wanting to take the same deregulation approach to food."
Of course, Steffi... as per usual... is talkin' outta his ass.
The linking of Walkerton to deregulation is totally inaccurate.

The inquiry into Walkerton fingered lazy, unqualified and incompetent government employees. Private testing was one of the few parts of the system that worked.

Mr. Dion should be ashamed if he doesn't know that. He should be even more ashamed if he does.
(h/t reader rich)

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FROM THE COMMENTS:
Nepotism is definitely one of the worst problems of a small town. In this case, according to O'Connor's report:

"Mr. Koebel began his employment at the Walkerton PUC in 1972, at the age of 19. He had a Grade 11 education. His father was the foreman of the Walkerton Works Department at the time."
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UPDATE: Will this be enough for Dion?
-- TORONTO -- Canada's food inspection system, under scrutiny amid a massive meat recall and a listeriosis outbreak that's killed at least five people, was absolved of blame Wednesday by the president of embattled meat giant Maple Leaf Foods and defended by the minister of agriculture.

Michael McCain - the Maple Leaf chief executive whose abject apology has been playing in television commercials across Canada for nearly a week - said both the recall and the responsibility for fixing it are for his company to bear alone.
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The linking of Walkerton to deregulation is totally inaccurate.

The inquiry into Walkerton fingered lazy, unqualified and incompetent government employees. Private testing was one of the few parts of the system that worked.

Mr. Dion should be ashamed if he doesn't know that. He should be even more ashamed if he does.


It would seem that all we can conclude is that "Steffi" does not have a subscription to the Financial Post. Because it seems the blame goes both to the Koebel brothers, and the province for not catching them.

The report says the system failed on several fronts. It says:

* The government failed to put proper safeguards into place after privatizing the water supply
* The men who ran the town's water supply, Stan and Frank Koebel, lied and cheated to cover their tracks
* A weakened Ministry of Environment failed to detect the problem
* The local health unit didn't issue a wide enough boil-water alert
* The town's water officials didn't respond properly to quality concerns raised by the environment ministry in 1998


Link

Anonymous said...

And what about the government of Bob Rae in all of this?

Spinning off the Ontario Clean Water Agency from the Environment Ministry and allowing for private water testing under his watch is not something I think we will hear about from pudding head.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

One of my readers wondered if Kinsella had set him up to this.

Anonymous said...

No doubt Joanne...put it this way:last week would Dion know anything about "Walkerton"?It's obvious one of his spinners fed him the line...and the MSM gave him the time.

JA Goneaux said...

Guaranteed, Joanne. It seems Mr. "I'm not going to help any party in the coming election" Kinsella is in charge of talking points for Dion. Which says quite a bit about how desperate both of them are.

I've answered some of the dumber questions over at my blog:

http://thejagwire.blogspot.com/2008/08/walkerton-redux.html

Although, I admit, I've only read the report twice so I'm at a bit of a disadvantage compared to those who haven't...

Anonymous said...

It is colossally foolish to link these to situations in any case. I shudder to think that Dion would ever be Prime Minister. Increasingly I think he is somewhat simple-minded.

Neo Conservative said...

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one of my neighbours grew up in walkerton... and he told me the problems within the municipality, including the tainted water, could be ascribed primarily to nepotism.

like a lot of smaller places... jobs within the municipal structure go to well-connected locals.

put a couple of alcoholic brothers in charge of anything consumable... you're inevitably gonna have problems.

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JA Goneaux said...

Neo: nepotism is definitely one of the worst problems of a small town. In this case, according to O'Connor's report:

"Mr. Koebel began his employment at the Walkerton PUC in 1972, at the age of 19. He had a Grade 11 education. His father was the foreman of the Walkerton Works Department at the time."

I believe that most of the time, what you learn on the job is just as important as "book learnin'". But Koebel seems to be the exception. Funny how all this happened in the "fully funded, uncut" watch of various non-Mike Harris governments:

- Stan Koebel was not required to complete any courses or undergo an examination to qualify as the senior operator of the water system.

- when became the general manager in 1988, the only course he took was a leadership seminar on the supervision of employees. The course had no content relating to the operation of a water system.

- in 1988 he is "grandfathered" into a Class 2 water operator's license, without having to pass a test

- he never even read section 4.1.2 of the Ontario Drinking Water Objectives (ODWO) – the section on the indicators of unsafe water!

- "he did not always fully comprehend portions of the MOE inspection reports on the Walkerton system and correspondence from the MOE’s Owen Sound district office."

- in 1993 (NDP government) changed the regulations - water operators were required to get at least 40 hours of training per year. What the Dion's boy Stan do: "Stan Koebel interpreted the meaning of “training” in this regulation unreasonably broadly. In his view, marketing and leadership courses, a cardiopulmonary resuscitation course, or simply accompanying an MOE environmental officer on an inspection of the water plant constituted “training” for the purposes of the regulation. In the training logs for 1998 and 1999, Stan Koebel showed 16 hours’ credit for attending a marketing course and 6 hours for the MOE inspection of the Walkerton water system by Michelle Zillinger in 1998, despite the fact that the inspection took only 2 hours."

Again, all without ANY government sanction. They didn't catch him.

Neo Conservative said...

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"jag says... "Mr. Koebel began his employment at the Walkerton PUC in 1972..."

this is pretty much what my buddy told me about the way walkerton was run, back in the day.

it had absolutely nothing to do with mike harris. add in the fact that the koebel brothers put on their "beer goggles" first thing in the morning and you have a recipe for disaster.

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