Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Canadians are dying so why not crack a few jokes?

Can I get sued for wondering what Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz was smoking on that Sunday morning two weeks ago, when he decided that the civil servants and scientists discussing the deaths of Canadians due to listeria needed to hear him crack a few jokes:
Sources who took notes during the call said Ritz fretted about the political dangers of the crisis, before quipping:
"This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts."
The disease was linked to cold cuts from Maple Leaf Meats.
And when told about a new death in Prince Edward Island, Ritz said:
"Please tell me it's (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter."
Easter is the Liberal critic shadowing Ritz's Agriculture Department.
...The conversation on Aug. 30 began with talk of the mounting death toll and trends in the spread of the disease.
Sources say Ritz began the call by asking: "Are there any more bombs out there?" - implying any politically damaging news.
But discussion soon shifted to communications and how best to frame the government's message.
So I see he's got the government's priorities front and centre.
The Canadian press story also says
Ritz was not the only cabinet minister to quip about the food crisis.
But they didn't say who the others were, and I guess its up to us to figure out what is wrong with these people.

UPDATE: Oh, yes, it was the Health minister.

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