Mad-cow Lawsuit Allowed To Proceed

QUEBEC - A Quebec Superior Court ruling has given the go-ahead to a multibillion-dollar class-action lawsuit targeting the federal government's actions during the mad-cow crisis.
calendar icon 18 June 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 20,000 Quebec farmers in 2005, who say Ottawa's mismanagement of the BSE file led to billions of dollars in losses for the country's cattle industry.

The claims have yet to be proven in court.

*"In all probability, the Quebec case will become the test case for the rest of Canada"

Gilles Gareau, head lawyer.

"For the first time, Quebec beef producers will be heard," said Gilles Gareau, the lawyer heading the suit. Separate statements of claim have been filed in courts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Mr. Gareau said it is likely the Quebec court ruling, which was handed down on Friday, will set a precedent for courts handling the suits in other provinces. "In all probability, the Quebec case will become the test case for the rest of Canada," he said.

The suit alleges government officials lost track of 80 British cattle that were judged to be at a high risk of contracting BSE.

"We are going to be entering into a situation where the rights to recover of the Alberta cattle producers will effectively be determined by the courts of Quebec," said Cameron Pallett, a lawyer working on the suits in both Quebec and Ontario.

Mr. Pallett said he has unearthed government documents that illustrate officials failed to properly inform the public in 1993 that the British cattle entered the Canadian food supply.

Source: TheGlobeAndMail
© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.