Farmscape for March 19, 2008 (Episode 2786)
Three Manitoba based organizations have joined forces in an effort to convince the provincial government to end its recently announced moratorium on swine barn expansion.
Earlier this month, following the release of the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission report on the environmental sustainability of the hog industry, Manitoba Conservation announced permanent moratoriums on swine barn expansion in three regions.
Manitoba Pork Council, Keystone Agricultural Producers and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce have partnered in an effort to have the decision reversed.
Chambers of Commerce policy and communications director Dan Overall says the government has unfairly singled out the hog industry and must be held accountable.
Clip-Dan Overall-Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
I like to kind of notionally break down the history of this government's involvement with the hog industry in two phases.
One is the phase from when they first came into power in 1999 to the initial ban in 2006.
A lot of people have the mistaken impression that this issue has not been on this government's radar and in fact it has.
Almost every year they've introduced new layers of legislation, regulation on this industry and each time they've done that they've absolutely assured us that the new legislation will ensure a sustainable development of this industry.
Even though they did that, out of the blue without prior consultation, with little reason and certainly no science behind it, they introduce this ban in November 2006.
That leads us to the second phase which is from November 2006 to now which is, Government says it needs a report, government gets a report but government doesn't listen to the report.
That's the CEC report which in no way recommends a ban but then government goes ahead anyway.
Overall calls on the government to end the moratorium and follow the CEC's recommendations.
The organizations plan to form a working group that will seek legal advice on next steps, examine the recommendations contained in the CEC report and how best to implement them, coordinate lobby efforts aimed at convincing the government to reverse the decision and launch a public education campaign to build awareness of the issue.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council