E. coli outbreak in Alberta: Remembering Walkerton


If you want to know what E.coli 0157 - H7 has the potential to do to you, ask Jeff Holliday. He drank the water in Walkerton Ontario in the spring of 2000 ingesting the very same strain of E.coli that has now led to the largest beef recall in Canadian history. Jeff Holliday was sick for years and ended up needing two organ transplants. We bring you his story today.

E.coli outbreak in Alberta: Remembering Walkerton

The water that flowed out of kitchen faucets in Walkerton, Ontario in May of 2000 was very different stuff that had poured from the taps just a few weeks earlier. It looked and smelled the same. But it was devastatingly toxic.

Walkerton's water sickened thousands of people that May and killed seven people. The particular strain of E. coli that slipped into the town's water supply is the same strain found in meat from the Brooks, Alberta processing plant. O157:H7.

Already at least ten people have been sickened with the bacteria and 1,500 meat products have been recalled from the XL plant.

Jeff Holliday knows you can't be too careful when dealing with E. coli. He drank the water in Walkerton that May, and ended up needing a double organ transplant. Jeff Holliday was in Kitchener, Ontario this morning. And Bruce Davidson is the spokesperson for Concerned Citizens Of Walkerton and that's where we reached him.

E.coli outbreak in Alberta: Remembering Walkerton

Dr. Herb Schellhorn is a professor in the Department of Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and heads a laboratory that specifically examines E.  coli. He was in Hamilton.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar.

Justin Trudeau Mail

Yesterday on the program we opened up the discussion over Justin Trudeau's bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. There is no doubt that Justin Trudeau has charisma and can attract a crowd, but can he lead the party -- and the country?

It's a question that got Twitter buzzing. Chantal Saville posted this:

I hope he wins, if only because it will be the first election in years that I will remotely care about.

Claude Dusseault tweeted: I think it will be good. I do hope Justin keeps his finger in his pocket in the west.

But there are skeptics. Skot Nelson said: Don't skip the "Destroy the Liberal party" option.

And in response to our guest, Justin Kaiser, President of the Young Liberals of Canada in BC ... Jon Brandt tweeted this:

Mr. Kaiser is simply star struck. Perhaps Mr. Trudeau will be good leader but there was no evidence during this show. Riding wins don't count.

And in a more leisurely email format, Peter Gravel offered these thoughts from Halifax:

Many sons have had to overcome the reputations of their famous and infamous fathers. Justin will have to prove himself to a very different, very cynical country.
On the other hand his timing couldn't be better. We've lost the visionary Jack Layton ... and we have a government that holds onto power by fear. We are starving for the kind of country that Pierre Elliot Trudeau showed the world.

To that Janet Collins of Kingston, Ontario wrote:

This is not 1970, this is 2012, and the nostalgia for Pierre Elliot Trudeau is generated by the media not us, nor the young people. Half of them don't even know who he was.

To add to this conversation or anything else you hear ... email us from our website. On Twitter we are @thecurrentcbc. Facebook - search for The Current: CBC Radio.

Last Word - John Lee Hooker for President

Earlier in the show we were talking about the voices behind political ads in the U.S. and as the Presidential candidates ready themselves for tonight's debate. Today, we leave our neighbours with another option brought to us by Ry Cooder. His song is called John Lee Hooker for President.

(* The Last Word segment is not included in our audio due to music rights issues *)

Other segments from today's show:

Allegations of corruption in the Quebec construction industry

Voices for Sale or Rent: Election Ads

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