Conservative Senators Grill Health Minister Philpott on Bovine Tuberculosis
Ottawa, November 23, 2016 – The Leader of the Conservative Senate Caucus, Senator Claude Carignan asked Health Minister Jane Philpott a contentious question in Senate Question Period today that involved her role as the Minister responsible for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“Over 30 ranches in southeastern Alberta and two ranches in Saskatchewan have been quarantined due to the discovery of bovine tuberculosis,” said Senator Carignan.
“This news is devastating especially at this time of year.”
Ranchers are not allowed to sell their calves while under quarantine, and they must feed their cattle longer than planned, resulting in extreme financial hardship for these producers and their families. Ranches that are quarantined do not receive compensation.
“What kind of compensation will the Government provide to these ranchers, who are suffering greatly through no fault of their own?” asked Senator Carignan.
This investigation has been ongoing since September 22, and no there is no indication from the Government how much longer this will take.
“The emotional and financial stress is tremendous, and there is no end in sight,” Conservative Alberta Senator Scott Tannas added. “CFIA is not using local veterinarians as it conducts testing. I believe that this could help speed up the process considerably.” Vets being used currently are from outside the region and are not familiar with local issues. Minister Philpott agreed to look into Senator Tannas’ suggestion.
Senator Carignan said this is an urgent issue, and he will ask the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture to conduct a special study on this issue in the coming days to know the origin of this disease.
Minister Philpott said she liked the urgent approach recommended by Senator Carignan and agreed to a study on the matter. When pushed on compensation, she said the Government has agreed that it would compensate ranchers with cattle that need to be destroyed. She said she would act with haste and speak with the Minister of Agriculture today on further compensation for ranchers still with cattle in limbo. She agreed this is an issue that needs to be dealt with immediately.
Senator Claude Carignan
For more information on Senator Carignan: http://www.claudecarignan.net and Senator Tannas http://scotttannas.com/
Follow Senator Carignan on Twitter: @senatcarignan – Senator Carignan on Facebook
Information (media only):
Office of the Honourable Senator Claude Carignan, P.C.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate