Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ladies and gentlemen, the comic stylings of Mr. Gerry Ritz!

After fretting about the political dangers of the Listeria scare, Ritz quipped: "This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts."

Then when told of a death in Prince Edward Island, Ritz said, "Please tell me it's (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter."


  • Is there a link? What an asshat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 p.m.  

  • Oh wait, I see how this works. Give me a break, I'm new at this blogging thing... Oh wait..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:16 p.m.  

  • It's only what everyone at Progressive Bloggers is blogging about, Devin. :)

    By Blogger Oxford County Liberals, at 11:21 p.m.  

  • Ritz resigned.did anyone hear of the Cons new song..will be on TV and copied from Obama

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:35 p.m.  

  • Harper should fire him. The comments were totally tasteless and inappropriate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:03 a.m.  

  • Harper's been fairly unforgiving to his ministers so far, so I'm expecting Ritz won't make it to the weekend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:48 a.m.  

  • That really IS tasteless - not unlike Listeria. Whah whah whaahh. Thanks, I'll be here all week - try the raw cheese!

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 11:03 a.m.  

  • Now would be a good time for the Conservatives to demand that Andrew Telegdi step down as a Liberal candidate for his use of the N word, especially since two Liberals have had to step down for remarks about natives.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:01 p.m.  

  • Is this really that controversial? I mean everyone says stupid things in their life but I'd rather have someone fired for their job performance than a couple offhand remarks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:27 p.m.  

  • "rather have someone fired for their job performance"...well, ya. Ritz's job performance is pitiful. Therefore, there are two reasons to fire him.

    If Harper won't, I do hope his constituency has some class and do not re-elect the jerk. If they do re-elect him, doesn't say much for them does it?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:35 p.m.  

  • Wow, Liberals really are hypocrits! Anybody remember the tasteless newsletter sent by a Lib. Riding Association President joking about the Harpers being in a plane crash? How about the Lib. MP who said Mulroney should be hung? How 'bout Shawn Murphy with his ageism remarks? I'm sure there's more.

    Those of you who really think this is a big deal should ask yourself if you would feel the same way if a Lib. said this about a Conservative.

    Everybody says stupid things sometimes, I don't see this as a big deal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:15 p.m.  

  • All those people were not, I believe, the minister responsible for the file. (And, quite possibly, the crisis.)

    His comments were the height of conservative boorishness and cruelty; every day that Harper leaves him unfired is an endorsement of that position.

    (A real media corps would have nailed him to the wall.)

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 2:33 p.m.  

  • The big deal is making a joke about the deaths of a number of Canadians. Ritz should be punished in some manner by the Prime Minister. The joke if stated by an average Canadian would be tasteless but probably something most people would let slide but when coming from the minister responsible for agriculture and food the joke is unacceptable. Harper should punish Ritz in some manner not only because it is the right thing to do but also because it gives Harper a chance to show Canadians that he is a leader. I won't go as far as saying Harper should do his best to replace Ritz as a candidate but he should be quickly stripped of his responsibilities in the government.

    If Harper wants a majority he should start showing some leadership like not allowing an individual who thinks the deaths of Canadians is a joke be in charge and responsible for the food that Canadians consume.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:39 p.m.  

  • Dumb comment. But interesting that the comments were made back in August, and are only now just surfacing. During an election period. Complete coincidence, I am sure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:44 p.m.  

  • Adam Radwanski's take regarding the PM's handling of the Gerry Ritz affair:

    It's now been well more than 12 hours since the comic stylings of Gerry Ritz came to light. A good case can be made that Stephen Harper should've dumped him from cabinet on the spot. But having stuck with him this far, you'd better hope for Harper's sake that he's sticking with him for the long haul.

    To dump him immediately would've led to a day or two of bad press, but killed the story and enhanced Harper's reputation for decisiveness. Sticking with him arguably avoids adding more legitimacy to the comments as a full-blown scandal, and at least proves Harper loyal (if a little stubborn). But if he dumps him after a day or two of bad press, he'll get the worst of all worlds - a legitimate scandal with legs that calls into question the Conservative leader's instincts and proves he won't hold strong in the face of bad press.

    Adam's right, by firing Mr. Ritz on the spot, the PM would not only be demonstrating his true decisiveness as a leader, he would be clearly indicating to Canadians that a Prime Minister will not tolerate a member of the cabinet embarrassing him in public in such a manner. Instead, he has decided to stand by his Ag minister. So if Harper buckles on this one now, the opposition party's will not train their guns on Mr. Ritz, but on the head of government, Mr. Harper, who twiddled his thumbs even as Canadians showed their disdain and outrage over Ritz's insensitive remarks regarding the listeriosis victims.

    Just so you know, as a conservative, I admire Harper's loyalty on this one, but I deplore his stubbornness even more. I hope when he made this decision that he realized that hangin' in with Ritz could very well put him at a serious political disadvantage in this campaign.

    Anyway, it's his head on the platter [now] if it backfires.

    By Blogger nbt, at 3:39 p.m.  

  • Harper won't fire him, for the reasons Radwanski outlines. But I'd bet he won't be in cabinet following the election.

    It would be nice if the voters of Battlefords—Lloydminster turfed him, but considering the only reason he "only" got 54% of the vote last time was because 14% went to the even more odious Jim Pankiw running as an independent, I hold out little hope.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 4:05 p.m.  

  • this quote is from August?

    it is pretty dated, and minor in any case.

    Even Wayne Easter tried to change the focus here and unsuccessfully as mock outrage > policy.

    Besides we all know Jack Layton invented Cold Cuts...

    and Listeria...

    ok he invented Wayne Easter too

    By Blogger Anthony, at 4:47 p.m.  

  • "Those of you who really think this is a big deal should ask yourself if you would feel the same way if a Lib. said this about a Conservative."

    Way to miss the point. Easter already said he is not bothered by the comments made about him.

    The man made a joke about an incident involving, at the time, the deaths of 12 people.

    Get it?

    By Blogger Gayle, at 7:24 p.m.  

  • Good for Wayne Easter. He showed some class. And I say that as a Tory supporter.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 8:20 p.m.  

  • Actually, the point here is that the Liberals finally have a story they can trot out to take attention away from all their own failings in this election campaign. Running away from their central plank. Spending your hard-earned tax dollars on student parties. Hiring thousands of out of work daycare workers on the public dime. (Okay, that last one will still take some explaining.)

    What Mr. Ritz said was stupid. Everybody agrees with that. He has apologized. But some think they can drag it on by pulling people in front of the cameras who agree that it was a stupid thing to say. Brilliant strategists!

    And it gets the talking heads off the subject of Rae showing up Dion, and off the question of where the billions will come from for the Liberals promises. It avoids anyone having to ask just how nutty the Green Party agenda really is.

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:32 p.m.  

  • Sure Paul - only it was one of the leading stories on CTV and CBC tonight. It is not about the liberals putting this on the front pages, unless you subscribe to that paranoid theory about how the liberals control the media in this country.

    The LPC made a huge announcement today about infrastructure spending. I am quite certain they were more interested in positive coverage about that announcement than they were over stories about Ritz's comment.

    Which is not to say they are not happy about Harper's campaign having to go off message...again.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:54 p.m.  

  • If it is a big problem, let the voters in his ridding fire him, if they keep him - then case closed. As simple as that.

    It is interesting that this story comes out now and not at time of it happening. This appears to be just normal attacks of the MSM, sad when something happens to any of the opposition it is a non-story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 p.m.  

  • Editorial accuses Ottawa in outbreak
    Medical journal says Harper government lowered standards
    September 17, 2008

    Chris Morris


    FREDERICTON–As the death toll rose yesterday from the national listeriosis outbreak, an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal slammed the Harper government for undermining public health safeguards.

    An elderly woman in New Brunswick became the 17th person whose death has been linked to the recall of food products from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto. It is the first confirmed case east of Ontario.

    The New Brunswick Health Department said yesterday that the woman, in her early 80s, was infected with the same strain of listeria involved in the country-wide outbreak – which the CMAJ editorial released yesterday describes as "the worst in the world."

    "As in the Walkerton and SARS epidemics, an outbreak of this size may point to systemic failures across multiple levels," states the editorial in the latest edition of the journal, referring to the deadly water contamination eight years ago in Walkerton, Ont.

    "Listeria is the biological agent, cold cuts the vector, but the ultimate cause may be found in risky government decisions."

    The editorial, signed by several doctors and journal editors, states that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has reversed much of the progress previous governments made in relation to public health.

    The editorial takes aim at the Conservative government's decision to transfer inspection duties for ready-to-eat meats to the meat industry itself, while allowing listeria standards to remain lower than they are in most countries and reducing the Public Health Agency of Canada's political clout.

    The editorial also makes the case for a full-scale, arm's-length public inquiry similar to those for the tainted blood scandal, Walkerton and the SARS epidemic, rather than the investigation called for by the Harper government.

    "A full-scale public inquiry into the major failings of Canada's food inspection system is necessary to protect Canadians from future epidemic threats, and the Canadian public should settle for nothing less than that," the editorial states.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:38 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger CraigB, at 12:43 a.m.  

  • I find that something is being seriously overlooked.

    MP Ritz who is minister of agriculture is not only a high school graduate with no further education but someone who was handed a file on a serious health issue that was far beyond his qualifications.

    Are Canadians to assume a grade 12 educated man is qualified to handle a health issue such as this?

    I wonder why when this outbreak happened Tony Clement was in the United States at Obamas Convention what importance was that?

    So Harper feels it is OK to give grade 12 educated people a file that is far beyond there scope so the Minister of health can go have a good time at a democratic convention.

    We have so many MP'S who also have only grade 12 educations with no further education of any kind are we this stupid in 2008 to think we should entrust our health and safety to these under educated people.

    Do they deserve these huge salaries? No.

    We need to change the requirements for politicians and one is they have some form of secondary education. No wonder why some politicians look dazed when asked a question they just simply don't know the answers. Things have changed in this world greatly and years ago yes you could manage a job with life experiences but to have MP'S in high level positions who are not educated is wrong.

    Ritz should never of been handed this file, Clement should be in canada doing his job, and Harper needs to answer the question as to why Clements absence at the convention was more important than the Listeriosis outbreak.

    Harper instead though is going to be relentless in finding out who told the media and firing them, he finds that to be more harm than the actions of his Ministers.

    Oh by the way a garbage man here has to be grade 12 educated what does this say when a Minister in parliament needs only have the same education to be handed a serious file on Listeriosis.

    Can any of you imagine scientists having to talk to Ritz on this file?

    And to make myself clear all politicians make me sick I am not for any of the parties right now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 p.m.  

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