Alberta's Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith says it was a mistake for her to tweet that properly cooked tainted meat could feed the homeless.
Smith told an open line radio show (Rutherford-CHQR-CHED) that if you can't explain your position in 140 words on Twitter, you shouldn't try.
Smith is being accused of suggesting on Twitter that tainted beef dumped at Alberta landfills should’ve been put to better use and fed to the poor, a suggestion that's sparked outrage province-wide.
That was, in essence, what Smith agreed to in a tweet this weekend, a tweet that has the masses worked up and angry, and Smith back-pedaling on the comment.
I agree. We all know thorough cooking kills E. coli. What a waste. MT @lyechtel: Is there no way to cook it so its safe and feed the hungry?— Danielle Smith (@ElectDanielle) October 21, 2012
The public backlash was swift and Smith found herself defending, explaining her remarks.
@mnesimiuk I wld hate to see good food destroyed simply because this issue has been so politicized. We don't really have enough information.— Danielle Smith (@ElectDanielle) October 21, 2012
Smith says the angry reaction to her tweet shows that people have so little faith in what officials are doing over the beef crisis, that anything short of destroying the meat is unacceptable.
The company has decided to dump the meat in a landfill, and Smith now says that's probably the best way to go.
Her comments may have been pure in intent or Smith may have seen a political opportunity in commenting on the disposal of tons of beef at Alberta landfills this weekend.
One way or the other, reaction to Smith’s comment was swift and overwhelmingly against the right-wing leader.
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Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason was also quick to weigh in.
According to News 95.7, Smith told the Rutherford show the tweet was a mistake and that if you can’t explain your position in 140 characters, you shouldn’t try.
She went on to tell Dave Rutherford that trucking the meat out to the dump is probably the best way to go, News 95.7 reported.
Smith felt the backlash of 140-character's worth of context can produce and tried to explain to the CBC that what is being said about her tweet is not what she intended to say.
"That's what he said,” said Smith told the CBC, referring to her response to Ray Yechtel’s original tweet, the response behind the political tempest she is currently trying to navigate her way out of.
“My comments were focused in on whether or not you could actually kill this bacteria by cooking it properly and whether that was sufficient. But you know, we have to defer to [the Canadian Food Inspection Agency]. They're the regulator; they made the decision that you couldn't safely do that, so they did not certify the beef."
But Smith wasn’t alone in Alberta’s political wilderness as some supporters, although few in numbers, tried to give the opposition leader some support.
With files from CP
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