Ministry of Justice Unable to Administer Justice In Own Back Yard

headdeskIn recent years we appear to be witnessing more governmental whitewashing, smokescreens, and doublespeak than possibly at any other time in Canadian history.  Many voters in our country have expressed frustration at the lack of credibility exhibited by the Conservative government, and in all likelihood will opt for change.

The following e-mail string is testimony to the uphill battle we face in terms of access to government resources.  Who knew that the Ministry of Justice will not examine its own back yard for infractions, despite a mountain of evidence?  This appears to be a typical case of offloading responsibility because to do so is the path of least resistance.  Who wants an internal battle within government, after all?  Ministry against ministry?  No matter what the crime, it makes good political sense to circle the wagons and turn a blind eye to what one’s colleagues are really doing.

But there is price to pay for all that indifference.  An election is pending, and a dissatisfied citizen can be a voter who demands a change in leadership.

We invite you to read the correspondence below, from the bottom up.  In addition, we’ll be sure to post any follow-up letters we may receive from the ministries.

If you feel that there is something wrong with this picture, feel free to write to the government e-mail addresses supplied below in order to express your views.

For the horses,

Your friends at CHDC

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From: sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 1:42 PM

To: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Cc: gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca

Subject: Re: Correspondence on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Dear L. Bisson:

Thank you again for your prompt response.

Since you have clearly indicated that the Ministry of Justice has a hands-off policy where violations committed by another ministry are concerned, I am wondering how the public can be assured of administration of justice with regard to any infractions of the law by governmental agencies?  Can you explain what the role of the Ministry of Justice actually is, pertaining to issues of justice?

The Honourable Peter MacKay

The Honourable Peter MacKay

Further, if governmental policy forbids the Ministry of Justice from examining matters of law-breaking within government, can you recommend an unbiased, unshackled entity that would not be timid to investigate?

We will express our concerns to the Health Minister.  Unfortunately, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food has proven disinterested in making certain that all laws concerning the transport and slaughter of horses are adhered to.  It appears that there is a very determined fox guarding the henhouse, ensuring that business can be conducted as usual – with no interference from something as trivial as legislation.

Incidentally, a simple internet search of the CFIA website reveals that the CFIA reports to the Minister of Health (see copied information below).  No mention is made here of Ministry of Agriculture involvement, in spite of the fact that, surely, there has been plenty of time to update the website to reflect what you are saying.  This type of discrepancy in itself is very confusing to the public, and perhaps yet another example of why citizens are losing faith in our current government.

I look forward to further correspondence from your ministry.

Yours truly,

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

c.c. The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

The  CFIA is led by its President, who reports to the Minister of Health. The Agency has an integrated governance structure whereby all branch heads have specific accountabilities that contribute to the achievement of each of the CFIA ‘s strategic objectives.

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From: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2015 7:52 AM

To: mailto:sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Subject: Correspondence on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Dear Ms. Crosland:

On behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your further correspondence of July 24, 2015, sent on behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, concerning live horse exports from Canada to Japan.

gerry ritz, listeria, tained meat, CFIA

Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture

As previously mentioned, the matter you raise falls within the purview of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food, to whom I note you have sent a copy of your correspondence.  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is responsible for the legal requirements regarding the humane handling and slaughter of horses.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) handles the safety of the meat for human consumption.  Responsibility for the CFIA is shared between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Health Canada.  Should you wish to write to the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, her office can be reached at minister.ministre@hc-sc.gc.ca.

Please note that Minister MacKay has no authority over matters that fall within another minister’s portfolio.

Thank you for writing.

Yours sincerely,

L. Bisson

Manager

Ministerial Correspondence Unit

c.c.:      The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food

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From: sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Sent: Friday, July 24, 2015 3:25 PM

To: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Cc: complaints-plaintes@oag-bvg.gc.ca ; gerry.ritz@parl.gc.ca

Subject: Re: Correspondence on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Dear L. Bisson:

Thank you for your correspondence.  However, I am referring to repeated violations of the Health of Animals Regulations by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  I understand that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is mandated to deal with

International Trade Minister Edward Fast

International Trade Minister Edward Fast

matters of justice.  If an arm of the government is breaking the law, then surely this falls within your jurisdiction.

Further, as you must know, the CFIA is now under the purview of the Ministry of Health.  I fail to understand what this particular situation has to do with the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

Please re-visit my letter, which I have copied below for your convenience.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours truly,

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

c.c. Office of the Auditor General of Canada; The Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

************************************************************************************

From: Ministerial Correspondence Unit – Mailout

Sent: Friday, July 24, 2015 6:45 AM

To: ‘sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org’

Subject: Correspondence on behalf of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Dear Ms. Crosland:

On behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of July 17, 2015, sent on behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, concerning live horse exports from Canada to Japan.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose - Minister of Health

The Honourable Rona Ambrose – Minister of Health

The matter you raise falls within the purview of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food.  I have therefore taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to Minister Ritz for his information and consideration.

Thank you for writing.

Yours sincerely,

L. Bisson

Manager

Ministerial Correspondence Unit

c.c.:      The Honourable Gerry Ritz, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri‑Food

********************************************************************

From: sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

Sent: Friday, July 17, 2015 12:09 PM

To: mcu@justice.gc.ca

Cc: bruce.archibald@inspection.gc.ca ; ed.fast@parl.gc.ca

Subject: legal concerns about live horse exports to Japan

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8

Email: mcu@justice.gc.ca

Dear Hon. Mr. MacKay:

On behalf of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC), I am requesting a thorough examination by your ministry of the issue of live horse exports from Canada to Japan for slaughter.

Dr. Bruce Archibald

Dr. Bruce Archibald – President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

We have recently studied Access to Information documents concerning the air transport of these horses overseas, and are frankly appalled at the blatant legislation violations revealed and attempts to re-word legislation without taking appropriate legal steps to do so. For example, in spite of lengthy debate within the agency concerning overloading crates with four heavy horses, the practice is still continuing.  The Health of Animals Regulations stipulate that horses over 14 hands high must be segregated for air transport, and that they must be able to stand in a natural position, without coming into contact with a deck or a roof.  Both laws are being broken on an ongoing basis, with the CFIA fully aware of this and, on horse shipment formwork, simply noting the segregation regulation under “Description of Non-Compliance”

(https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/link9-formwork-using-altered-regs.pdf).

Further, for their own purposes, the agency has added wording to the Health of Animals Regulations that has not gone through official legal channels –

(https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/link10.png).

We realize that Canada also must respect IATA regulations.  But those regulations permit the shipping of Icelandic and polo ponies together in crates, not large draft horses well over 14 hands high, who must be transported singly if all regulations are to be properly met.

Details of our concerns can be found here.

We await your prompt reply.  Thank you.

Best regards,

Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC)

sinikka@defendhorsescanada.org

c.c. Dr. Bruce Archibald, President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Hon. Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade

vote

 

3 comments

  1. Anne Streeter · ·

    Shabby behaviour but nothing new from this government!

    A.

  2. If there was a new government installed once they learned about US horses and the drugs they just might do something about stopping the importation of US horses for slaughter and shipment of the contaminated meat to the EU. That bunch of politicians sounds like the ones here in the US always passing the buck!.

  3. sosbaiji · ·

    What a friggin merry-go-round! This is not acceptable. We need a NEW government now, and an honest one!

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