100,000 people to benefit if case wins against gov’t
TORONTO — A ruling still isn’t expected this year in the Canadian Beef Farmers’ $8-billion class-action lawsuit against the federal government for allowing BSE into the country decades ago.
But the action continues plodding its way forward on Zoom.
Duncan Boswell, senior partner with Gowling WLG in Toronto and lead counsel in the lawsuit, confirmed that the involved parties have filed their closing submissions. An Aug. 3 deadline was set for reply submissions. The law firm has said that as many as 100,000 people will benefit if it wins the case.
Court is scheduled to resume for closing arguments Aug. 9.
The suit alleges the government knowingly allowed cattle from BSE-infected herds in the United Kingdom to enter Canada between 1982 and 1990. A first domestic case turned up in an Alberta cow in 2003, triggering the ruinous closure of export markets to Canadian beef. BSE — Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy — is otherwise known as Mad Cow disease.
Many countries still won’t accept Canadian beef to this day, although the key U.S. market reopened in 2008. Extra headway was made May 27th this year when the World Organisation for Animal Health finally accorded Canada “negligible risk” status for the disease.