BROOKS, AB (Oct. 14, 2012): After an emergency Wildrose Official Opposition caucus conference call with beef producers on Sunday, Wildrose is calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, XL Foods and all involved parties to work expeditiously to reopen the Brooks plant in a week.
“This weekend, news of the layoff of 2,000 employees in Brooks has devastated the community,” Leader Danielle Smith said. “There are big challenges to overcome, but with all parties working together, we believe passing inspection and getting workers back to work by next week is possible. Getting the XL Foods plant back in production is the first step to rebuilding consumer and industry confidence.” Wildrose has been in contact with federal counterparts to press for the plant to do what is necessary to pass inspection and be up and running within a week. MLA for Strathmore – Brooks Jason Hale urged people with specific language abilities to contact the proper authorities to help foreign workers navigate the process of applying for Employment Insurance where warranted. “The community needs to pull together to help the workers get through this,” Hale said. “Any help in providing language services would be appreciated.” People who speak Arabic, Oromo, Spanish, Somali, or Dinka may be able to assist by contacting Israel Fayisa, volunteer coordinator at Brooks and County Immigration Services, at 403-362-0404 (x. 230) or Israel.Fayisa@bcis-brooks.ca. “We need this plant up and running within a week, and we need the federal Agriculture minister to ensure that this happens,” Hale said.