Salty language clogs Parliamentary debate

12 Feb

A major battle of words has erupted in the House of Commons over the fate of Canada’s sodium reduction strategy.

The strategy recommends creation of a Sodium Registry to reduce the average Canadian’s salt intake from 3,400 milligrams per day to 1,800. The Registry would compel processed food manufacturers and restaurants to lower salt levels in their products.

As the Official Opposition signalled its intention to press the Harper administration for implementation of the sodium strategy, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq quickly registered the Government’s opposition to meddling in the private sector.

“The State,” she said, “has no place in the popcorn bowls of the nation.”

NDP health critic Libby Davies pointed out that Aglukkaq was, in fact, ignoring the expert advice of a panel she herself convened to look into Canadians’ over-consumption of salt.

The Minister turned the tables, lambasting the Opposition as “soft on crime and tough on potato chips.”

“I would remind the Honourable Member,” Aglukkaq continued, “that Canada has long recognized the importance of salt in framing our national self-identity.”

“Without salt on our roads every winter, we would have no auto body shop industry in this country. Without salt, we would have no Canadian back bacon. Without salt, we would have to rename Windsor.”

“I believe I can say, without fear of contradiction, that salt courses through the veins of every true-blue Canadian.”

In a related story, a spokesperson for the Canadian food industry assured Canadians that the price of sodium-reduced products would remain higher than that of products with regular amounts of salt.

“Giving consumers more salt for less money is the least we can do as hard-working Canadians struggle to put food on the table in these difficult economic times,” he said.

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