True to form, the government does its best to support an industry that in my opinion is not sustainable environmentally, ethically or economically. There is no consideration given to the people in the community and the impact this operation has on their lives. The Government is basing their decisions on misinformation which we have pointed out to them to no avail.
The operation was actually a 1250 sow to weaning barn and the Colony was finishing 2000 pigs in ten biotechs on their yard. The rest of the pigs were being finished elsewhere including a barn at Libau. The Province deliberately overlooks this small detail; I know because I have had a conversation with Petra Loro, Agri-Ecosystems Specialist about this very matter. The office of the Ombudsman is satisfied that both the Province’s departments and the municipality followed appropriate process and gave appropriate consideration. The Ombudsman refused to consider the evidence we had from 2004 stating that too much time had passed. The province however goes back to 1998 and states incorrect information and that is apparently considered seriously.
Municipalities have been given substantial leeway in the application and interpretation of their bylaws. If you have an indifferent or even hostile council, your hopes that you will be treated justly are pretty remote. Even when councils attempt to protect their citizens, their decisions may be overturned by the Municipal Board as happened in the recent decision about the quarries at Lily field.
You can see from these arguments how the government and their agencies have stacked the cards against citizens like us who recognize the dangers and try to have something done. This seems to go on and on and no matter how loudly the Government professes to be worried about the environment and climate change, their actions speak otherwise.
I’m very glad my book is being published. It is my opportunity to do my part to inform people about the dangers of industrial hog production and expose a Government who is not concerned about the environment or the long term implications of this industry.
Being a farmer myself I feel for those producers who are caught in this system. It is my understanding that they are seldom making money and the packing plants are making as much as 40% profits. It cannot be comfortable as well knowing that you have a negative impact on your community’s well being and the environment. I’m sure it is not pleasant to know that your operation is ultimately not sustainable environmentally, ethically or financially. It was a Conservative Government that encouraged farmers to begin producing pigs in operations based on close confinement and liquid manure systems and now it is time for them to help them move to a more ethical and environmentally sound way of raising pigs where they can also make a reasonable profit.
Hog Watch Manitoba is hosting a series of webinars entitled The Hidden Cost of Industrial Hog Production.
April 14, 7pm Antibiotic Resistance
April 21, 7pm Living Near Factory Hog Barns
April 28th 7pm Toxic Blue-Green Algae In Our Lakes
I would urge you to join in.