Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hudson family influence expands

Mary Jean McFall, daughter of Joe Hudson who developed Canada's largest egg-industry empire, is now the chief of staff for the federal agriculture minister.

But critics are not happy, claiming she will face many conflicts of interest between her family's involvement in the egg industry and the federal agriculture minister's position as the guardian of the public interest related to national supply management for the egg industry.

Not only that, but the Conservative agriculture critic has asked in the House of Commons for information about litigation relating to McFall. She is a lawyer.

The family business, Burnbrae Farms Ltd. and related companies, was involved in a long lawsuit that alleged Burnbrae, L.H. Gray and Son Ltd. and Harry Pelissero, general manager of the Ontario egg marketing board, conspired to drive Best Choice Eggs Ltd. of Blackstock out of the egg grading business.

The courts have dismissed the charges against Burnbrae, but not against Gray and the egg board. They both insist they have done nothing wrong.

But faithful readers of this blog will know that documents revealed under Access to Information prove that Burnbrae and Gray routinely incorporated five to seven per cent cracked eggs in their Grade A cartons.