Pictured: “I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to try the veal.”
Having conclusively declared the deaths of six people and possibly nine others under investigation as a result of contaminated meat in the food supply a terrific “success,” it should come as little wonder that our sanguine Health Minister Tony Clement would be busying himself this week partying with powerful movers and shakers in the petroleum industry at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, promoting the limitless bounty of our secure, not-at-all-environmentally-harmful “foreign oil.” And why not? After all, it’s not like we have ministers in charge of briefs like Foreign Affairs & International Trade or Natural Resources to handle this tough assignment. Why poor little Gary Lunn would probably get trampled to death in that crowd! Besides, who wants to hang around crummy old Toronto being endlessly pestered by the media, disgruntled CFIA union representatives and millions of concerned citizens over some icky tainted meat recall?
And so, while grieving families in Ontario are planning the funerals of their loved ones like 89-year old Frances from Madoc, Ont., who died of listeria earlier in the week, Tony Clement is blithely schmoozing with political lobbyists and Washington celebs at swish receptions such as the luncheon sponsored by the Harper government at the Canadian consul-general’s Denver residence, where it’s reported that the food included bite-sized bits of beef, shrimp, tortellini and potatoes gratin. Seeking to assuage his patriciate guests of any apprehensions they may have had about tainted meat, Clement introduced himself with this bit of deathless hilarity: “I’m Health Minister Tony Clement, and I have to say I approved this food.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! What a comedian.