Proposal Raises a Stink
The Leader-Post (
September 29, 2003
's great pig debate has moved to an Indian reserve, as
members of the Poundmaker Cree Nation square off over a proposal to build a
massive hog operation on the band's
$3-million project would see 10,000 pigs finished in one barn located in the
northeast corner of the reserve. If it goes ahead, the barn would be the
first intensive hog operation established on a Saskatchewan Indian reserve,
said a provincial official.
operations have encountered substantial opposition in areas of the province,
a situation apparently about to play out at Poundmaker, located about 60
kilometres west of
time goes on, more and more people understand what this is all about,"
Eric Tootoosis, a reserve resident, said Sunday.
aren't against development. But the bottom line is we are mortgaging treaty
land to enter an industry that has waste disposal and odour problems. It's
officials could not be reached for comment.
according to documents obtained by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Poundmaker
would own 75 per cent of the company that would manage the operation, in a
partnership called Poundmaker Agri-Business Development Corporation (PADC).
The minority partner would be a company called Synergetik2000 Special
band plans to borrow money from the Farm Credit Corporation to finance the
investment, using its agricultural lease revenue, gaming revenue and land
purchased with its treaty land entitlement (TLE) settlement as security for
the loan. An environmental assessment would take place before the project
month, the proposal will be put to a referendum, with separate votes
and on the reserve.
Thursday, opponents of the project hope to convince the band membership to
turn down the proposal at a public meeting scheduled to be held at the Cut
Knife curling rink.
to attend are band members, municipal representatives and officials from a
nearby regional park. Representatives from the National Farmers Union and
the Council of Canadians have also been asked. The two groups oppose
intensive hog operations.
said the band would be setting a dangerous precedent if it decides to use
land as security for a loan.
bands can't pledge reserve land as security because it's held in trust by
the Crown. However, the TLE selection the band plans to use as collateral
hasn't been given reserve status.
does not have any assets other than the project," said a document which
has gone to band members.
the project fails and is not a successful business venture, Farm Credit
will be asking Poundmaker and the TLE trustees to repay
said there also is growing concern about the environmental implications
about the hog operation. As well, he said there's reason to doubt the
project will generate much employment.
Tootoosis said promoters have told some people close to 100 jobs will be
created, a summary of the project said some band members may be hired, but
there's no guarantee of employment opportunities.
Jansen, manager of agriculture operations for the provincial Agriculture
Department, said the federal Department of Indian Affairs has contacted the
province about the proposal.
my knowledge, we haven't faced this situation in the past. Right now I don't
think I could issue an approval. I can provide comments to the federal
government, but it's in their jurisdiction."
federal official could not be reached for comment.
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