Bill 17: Ruffling Feathers in Manitoba

CANADA - Manitoba Egg Producers is urging the provincial government to abandon plans to ban hog industry development and instead focus on recommendations proposed by the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 10 June 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Proposed changes to the Manitoba Environment Act, contained in Bill 17, are now being reviewed by the Legislative Assembly's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Food and public hearings are underway.

The bill proposes permanent moratoriums on the construction or expansion of swine barns and manure storage structures in three regions.

Manitoba Egg Producers general manager Penny Kelly notes the extensive ban being proposed was not among recommendations contained in the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission report on the environmental sustainability of the hog industry.

Penny Kelly-Manitoba Egg Producers

I think the issue becomes one sector of livestock agriculture has been segregated, or fingered almost, by the proposed legislation.

We would certainly have a concern that many of our producers might also be hog producers.

It creates all kinds of very confusing messages in terms of who might be able to expand livestock production in those areas where the ban takes effect for hogs only.

So it's very confusing I think and probably quite ineffectual in its overall result.

We hope that the bill will be defeated but that the government will step back and look at the many good solid recommendations that were contained in the Manitoba Clean Environment Commission report and we hope that, through the leadership of agriculture working with Keystone Agricultural Producers that we can kind of re-focus on that whole issue and move forward then with the commission recommendations rather than an outright ban.

Kelly believes this issue involves all of agriculture and she suggests addressing water quality is something that every Manitoba should be concerned about not just agriculture and not just the hog industry.

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