The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is in the running as one of the nominees for the prestigious Code of Silence award, recognizing the most secretive government, department or agency in Canada. The award is made by Canadian Association of Journalists and the winner will be made at Saturday in Vancouver at CAJ’s annual gala. The Association has 1,300 members from across Canada.
The CFIA was nominated for the award, according to CAJ, because:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency for dramatic delays and extensions on requests related to the listeria outbreak that killed 22 Canadians and triggered hundreds — perhaps thousands — of illnesses. Requests filed for inspections records on the Toronto-area Maple Leaf plant at the centre of the outbreak took nine months to produce, and communication records with the company are still embroiled in delays. For one of the biggest public health issues to face Canada in recent years, details behind the cause of the outbreak, the apparent delay in warning Canadians and the agency’s handling of the aftermath remain filled with unanswered questions.
CFIA is up against some tough competition for the award, including what CAJ calls the “spin machine” of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. We won’t be there, but will attempt to bring you a report on who wins.