Only after the last tree has been cut down.  Only after the last river has been poisoned.  Only after the last fish has been caught.  Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof." - Wingspread Statement of the Precautionary Principle.

Quill Lake


R.M. of Lakeside No. 338
In accordance with Section 48 of The Rural Municipality Act, 1989, a public meeting of the voters of the R.M. of Lakeside No. 338 shall be held on

Friday, May 2, 2002
@ 8:00 p.m.
Quill Lake Community Centre

 The purpose of this meeting is to deal with issues specific to intensive livestock operation development as stated in a petition submitted to the Reeve of the Municipality on the 12th day of April, 2003.

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Protestor Threatened with Legal Action
Watson Witness
January 2003

Who is Kerry?  That is the question of the week!  Kerry was one of the many callers to the John Gormley CKOM Talk Show on Monday, Nov. 26 (2002).  Kerry’s comments would indicate that he is an ambitious and fervent supporter and promoter of intensive livestock operations – particularly hog factories.  Furthermore, he stated that a small group of individuals are at work in the province to sabotage such operations by misinforming the public.  But he failed to specify just how they are doing this.  What is so absurd is that he strongly asserts that these individuals should be slapped with a libel suit; in other words, they should be sued!  So much for freedom of speech in Saskatchewan, according to the gospel of Kerry!

Who is “this” Kerry?  Is he the same Kerry who chaired an information meeting to promote hog barns in the Watson-Quill Lake-Wadena areas?  Is he the same Kerry who squelched the democratic right of individuals at that meeting to freely express their opinions or to ask questions?  Is he the same Kerry who attended the national conference on intensive livestock operations in Saskatoon on Nov.9,  (2002)?

Apparently, this conference was not a “learning” experience for him.  What a shame!  How sad!  Does he really lack the perception and intuition to understand that “the small group” he refers to is, in fact, a part of “a larger group” and “that larger group” encompasses the speakers at the conference?  If his intent is to sue the individuals within “the small group”, then he has no choice but to sue the individuals in “the larger group” since they are a source of documented research, scientific studies, and investigative reports for those who logically and realistically protest hog factories.  Can you imagine “this” Kerry suing the Waterkeepers Alliance, the Sierra Club, Hog Watch Manitoba, the National Farmers’ Union, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Environmental Defence Canada, Global Resource Action Centre for the Environment, etc., etc., etc.?  Me thinks his appetite is bigger than his plate?

Now, let’s say that the “shoe is on the other foot”.  Saskatchewan Agriculture and its army of bureaucrats has (misinformed) or is misinforming the Saskatchewan public about hog factories, particularly in playing down their adverse and often irreversible impact.  Furthermore, the CEOs of corporate hog operations or the promoters – like Kerry – of such factories have (mislead) or are misleading the ratepayers in rural municipalities.  Does Kerry then think that the Government of Saskatchewan, the CEOs and he, himself, should be sued?

How sorry I feel for Kerry.  He just can’t see the forest for the trees.  His reductionist thinking and all the $$$$ (dollar signs) he envisions are blinding him from seeing the whole picture regarding hog factories.  Perhaps it is time for Kerry to realize that we moved into the 21st century (the third millennium) and now the thinking is more holistic.

Isabel Muzichuk
Buchanan, SK

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Letter to the Editor
East Central Connection
February, 2003

Dear Editor; 

Who is a “farmer” in this 21st century?  More specifically, who is a “family farmer’? 

I find it quite confusing when I attempt to glean some sense out of news items.  In the same article, there is often reference to farming, agriculture, agribusiness, producers, industry, family farmers, and factory farms.  For example, there are the mega hog barns, their units of production are legally “farms”, indeed often “family farms”.  The ownership of these “farms” rests in shareholders who may be corporate, government, or individuals who live anywhere.  In the same news release, there may be reference to farms in the traditional “family farm” thinking pattern.  It takes careful reading to decipher what is meant. 

A clue to what is meant depends on who is talking.  When it is an Agriculture Minister, supporting the family farm has often come to mean support for the McCain Family Farm. Bell Farms, Seaboard Farms, Big Sky Farms, etc.

Fact – in 1995, the Saskatchewan Government passed “right to farm” legislation.  This term often comes up in mega hog barn discussions.  I initially wanted to believe: “The government cares and is doing what it can to protect us.”  I eventually realized that I (a small farmer) am the enemy here.  “Guess I am slow to change my attitude!”  This legislation's intent is to protect factory farms from other rural and small town residents who may take issues with things like water usage and pollution, odours, industrial traffic and health.

Fact – in 1997, with Eric Upshall as Agriculture Minister, the single desk selling system was eliminated in Saskatchewan, thus setting a favourable environment for corporate interests and the demise of smaller, independent hog producers. 

Then there is the marketing side of the pork “manufacturing” industry.  Pictures suggest a traditional farm family with children participating in the life of happy little pigs with maybe a horse, a dog, a cat, or birds present. 

At the same time, this modern high-tech industry is now attempting to create the attitude, and I suspect legislation, that a pig exposed to a cat or bird is in danger of becoming contaminated food.  This is another way of discrediting traditional farming practices.  They would also have us believe there is no danger from the untreated sewage from 120,000 hogs.  I deduce the purpose is to manufacture confusion. 

Fact – In Saskatchewan at present, there is a 75-cent market hog check off; 8 percent of the 75 cents is targeted for communication.  A 5,000-sow enterprise is operating in the Rama area, and is currently promoted in the rural municipalities of Foam Lake and Lakeside (Quill Lake & Watson area).  This will mean 120,000 market hogs per year per municipality.  This amounts to $7,200.00 generated annually from each municipality for education propaganda, the purpose of which is to present the “Industry facts” to local people.  An additional estimated $2,700.00 from each municipality would go toward creating consumer demand and acceptance of their “manufactured pork”.  I suspect this estimate is low or is likely to increase, as it is not sufficient to counter the consumer trend toward knowing where their food comes from and how it is produced. 

Local hog development committees are also accessing grant funding through the federal Canadian Adaptation for Rural Development (CARD) Program. 

So, here we have a corporate “farm” concept ready to promote the notion that this is “Progress” and is somehow a natural change.  We have governments, both federally and provincially, ready to help with dollars and “attitude” adjustments.  Was it about 2 years ago that the Federal Minister of Agriculture was saying to small farmers:  “adapt, get bigger or leave”?  Urban life is held out to be attractive.  In the January 09, 2003 issue of the Western Producer, there are news releases indicating that a motivation for European “farmers” coming to Canada is to get away from Urban life.  More confusion! 

When outside investment comes into a rural community, the mantra is touted that we must rely on this industry approach for local economic development or be doomed to “backwardness”.  I am encouraged by the knowledge and the courage of local citizens who KNOW factory farms are NOT the answer.  These folks use their own time and money to ask questions, research, organize, read books, write articles, and communicate with neighbours.  They seek to preserve a priceless rural culture and protect valuable natural and human resources.  Creditable and holistic visions are emerging locally and globally. 

On January 14, 2003, a radio news release spoke of proposed legislation in the US to protect farmers from the effects of GMO contamination including the right to sue bio-technical companies.  In this instance, it would appear the traditional concept of a farmer is being upheld.  It is another example for us to listen closely when the term “farmer” is used. 

Marilyn Gillis
Wynyard, SK

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Letter to the Editor
East Central Connection
April, 2003

I totally agree with the people who are against the hog barns.  Who would want one, two or three barns even a few miles from their farm, their homes or their communities?

On a windy day, you can smell the barns even though you live many miles away.

Who’s going to want to go to Quill Lake or Watson if every time you drive down the road you have to cope with the pungent and nauseating smell?  It’s very questionable if it will benefit your communities.

I believe that if the Government would let those who want to build these pig barns pay for them themselves out of their own pocket, there wouldn’t be many big hog barns built.

How many hog barns do we need and who are they helping?  Probably lining the pockets of the organizers, the smooth talkers, the directors, the part owner, the big wheels as we call them.

Think very carefully before you agree to let such a controversial project divide and possibly destroy your communities.

Do write to your local newspapers and let the RMs know how you feel.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether you agree or disagree.

Claudette Sunderland
Quill Lake, SK

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Letter to the Editor
East Central Connection
April 11, 2003

Dear Editor…

Health is not only the absence of disease or infirmity; it is the state of complete physical, mental and social well being of an individual.  Apparently, unless the public bands together real soon, our health will be at risk.

The coalition against the hog barns has been repeatedly advising the Lakeside RM council that a citizen’s health should be the number one priority in their decisions.  Council has downplayed our valid concerns.  Despite numerous attempts the coalition has been unable to convince most members of the council of the adverse effects these barns will have on people’s health.  The barns will bring with them foul air, risk to water, soil and natural resources, and increased pest activity.  People with allergies or respiratory problems will be affected first.  Others may not see the effects of long-term exposure to toxins and pathogens until later.  Already we are aware of at least one family who plan to move because of allergies to the toxins and pollutants that the barns will bring.  Dozens of families will experience tension, worry, anger, sickness, possible depression and reduced vigour because of the emotional impact the barns will have on them.  This health threat comes not only because people are concerned about the pollutants from the barns but also because of their interpersonal relationships.  Will fathers and sons part ways over this?  Will long time neighbours and friends stop speaking to each other?  Will it become a battle of community against community?  For those who believe they are far enough away from the barns that their personal life and health will not be affected… I say think again!  It is already have an effect on our personal relationships.

Some council members have tried to assure people that the smell is “not so bad”.  To date not one of the council members has a barn scheduled to be built near him.  Nor have any of the proponents of the barns offered to accommodate a barn in their neighbourhood.  Are any willing to find out how “not so bad” the smell or pollution will be?  The Coalition knows why.  We have contacted dozens of families in RMs where the barns exist.  We can tell you that they are pleading for help.  Help we cannot give them because we have our own communities to protect.  Call a few yourself if you do not believe me.

We all live with hopes that the fundamental needs like clean water, air and healthy soil will not be compromised.  No matter what Big Sky Farms, the Pork Committee or the “yes” voting RM Council members tell you, these factories will lead to disaster in many ways.  The people opposed to these barns are real people who have contributed to their community for decades.  I predict that these barns will create the worst division ever seen among the people in this area.  The community will be divided into those who believe it is most important to make a buck and those that want a more thoughtful and well-prepared approach to economic development in the RM.  Why can’t we have it all – proper safeguards for humans, wildlife and the environment in place, assurances that the RM will not be liable for suits due to water or land contamination, or accidents, and locations in areas where people are not displaced as a result?  Why can’t we insist on technology that will ensure only organic material and clean water is allowed to be released from these barns?  Why can’t we have an arrangement to ensure ratepayers in the RM are not stuck holding the tab?  Why the rush?  Why the heavy-handed tactics?  Why can’t we plan this together so all the community needs are addressed?    Is community dissension of no consequence?

Today our communities are good healthy places to live.  There are also jobs here.  Look in the papers…East Central Connections March 28th issue had over a dozen advertised jobs available.  Please don’t discount the businesses we have here already.  There are positions advertised all year long.  Initially there may be some construction and related jobs.  How long will that last…One year, maybe two?  Compare that to the drain on the economy that will occur when people move because of the barns or refuse to shop at home because of the sense of betrayal.  I don’t believe our communities’ economic health will improve with the barns.  Rather, I think we are standing at the brink of disaster.

It is not too late to stop this very controversial project.  Please send a letter to the RM and tell them of your concerns.  Protect this place we call home.

Brent Franko and Audrey Prevost-Franko
Coalition Against ILOs (Intensive Livestock Operations)

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Natural Beauty at Risk from Large Scale Hog Development
Wadena News
April 23, 2003

Dear Sirs:

I am surprised that the residents of the Quill Lake, Watson and Wadena areas are not appreciative of what you already have, such as the internationally known bird sanctuary.  Ducks Unlimited has developed well-known marshland for waterfowl and there are several bed-and breakfast enterprises in these areas all geared to tourism.  You have invested time and money in developing these operations and have had to promote your area to the tourist trade.  Why would you permit a mega 5,000-sow hog operation to be located in your area?  Do you believe it won’t affect your businesses or enterprises?  Think again!  All you have to do is visit any area that already has some of these operations and you will soon know what I am talking about.  No bird watchers or hunters spend any time in your area because the odour is more than a nuisance, it’s dangerous to your health.

I personally have experienced health problems.  The operation is only 1,200 animals and supposedly seven miles away.  This means no outdoor activity, hanging our laundry or opening windows when the odour is present.  You never know beforehand when this will happen.  No tourist is going to spend any time in the area when that happens, nor will they return again.

Effects of these toxic odours are headaches, severe nausea, dizziness, etc., the same as an occurrence of toxic spill, only on these occasions, everyone is evacuated from the area until the site is cleaned up.  You cannot do that with hog operations.  By the way, Big Sky Pork Inc. cannot guarantee a toxic spill will not occur because it has happened in other locations already. 

I do not understand the provincial government’s neglect of their own policies.  Why would they promote tourism on one hand and destroy it with the other.

You are the residents who will be affected by the operation 24 hours a day, 365 days, because you never know when the toxic odour will occur.

A news release this past week, pertaining to the mayor of Ogema’s interests to develop another 5,000-sow operation in his area, states his concern is there is not enough people available willing to work in these barns.  I wonder why!  Maybe it is time he worked in these barns and find out firsthand why. This also means the first 5,000-sow operation has not done much for growing the population in his area, which is one of the good deals for these areas.  Didn’t work in Ogema did it?

I hope you all would take the time to study all the pros and cons of the mega 5,000-sow hog operations before you actually want such an operation in your area.

Pauline Lapitsky,
Theodore, SK

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Quill Lakes Projects Office Officially Opens
Wadena News
May 28, 2003

Despite adverse weather conditions, the Quill Lakes Project office in Wadena was the centre of attention on November 1 as over 400 people attended the official opening by Premier Grant Devine.

People from throughout the entire project area and beyond were drawn to the event along with invited dignitaries, Premier Grant Devine, Hon. Lorne Kopelchuk, Minister of Parks and Renewable Resources, Harvey Nelson, U.S. Executive Director of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) and Stewart Morrison, Executive Vice-President of Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Other NAWMP co-operating agencies, including the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Wildlife Habitat Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service also had representatives in attendance.

Following the introduction of guests and Quill Lakes Project staff by Master of Ceremonies, Hon. Sherwin Petersen, Mayor Ed Arndt of Wadena welcomed everyone in attendance and presented Premier Devine with a hand-made miniature nest basket being used throughout the Quill Lakes Project area.

The Hon. Lorne Kopelchuk thanked the Hon. Colin Maxwell for doing the extensive groundwork to ensure that the Quill Lakes Project was a success.   He also spoke of the many economic benefits of the project to the province and this area.

The innovative partnerships formed under the NAWMP between Canada and the United States “are forging the way for more work to be done in both our countries”, said Harvey Nelson.

The people of Saskatchewan are on the “leading edge” of these partnerships, said Stewart Morrison, who congratulated the people for making the Quill Lakes Project a success.  Previously successful joint waterfowl habitat projects in Saskatchewan have included the Heritage Marsh Program established in 1982.

Premier Devine’s address to the crowd included the announcement of details of the Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation, a new corporation “in place for one purpose – management of the resource”, he said.

To officially open the Quill Lakes Project office, Premier Devine presented a framed photograph to the Project’s office administrator, Janet Kristjanson (and) Wadena Elementary School students, Janelle Moore, Lindsay Anderson, and Michelle Mansuy presented individual artwork to Premier Devine and the Honourable members Petersen and Kopelchuk.   The importance of the Quill Lakes Project to these and all young people was evident throughout the building.  These students had earlier raised money to sponsor nest baskets for use by the Quill Lakes Project.  Selected artwork and items from several of the co-operating agencies will be put in a time capsule which will be permanently located in front of the town office in Wadena.  The capsule will be opened in the year 2001 after 15 years of NAWMP activity in the area.

Following the official ceremony, airboat, banding displays and demonstrations were available for public viewing and a beef barbecue was held for everyone in attendance.

Overall, the day was a huge success and the high attendance from throughout the entire project area showed the interest and support the Quill Lakes Project has from local residents.

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Rural Group Discusses Mega Hog Issue With Serby, Belanger
By Jack Maluga
June 6, 2003

Numerous concerns and recommendations relating to mega hog operations were presented during a recent meeting between a group of rural residents and two provincial cabinet ministers in Regina.

A delegation of 16 rural residents from nine east-central and north-eastern rural municipalities met with Agriculture Minister,  Clay Serby and Environment Minister, Buckley Belanger on May 14th at the Legislature. The rural delegation included farmers from the Quill Lake-Watson, Wynyard, Foam Lake-Sheho, Rama, Churchbridge, Archerwill-Rose Valley, Porcupine Plain and Whitewood regions. Most of the areas have been chosen as locations for mega hog expansion, or have existing operations.

Typical industrial hog operations under construction in Saskatchewan are 5,000 sow production units. They consist of five huge barns, holding approximately 65,000 hogs, as well as a smaller boar barn. According to the developers, they use 50 million gallons of water and generate 40 million gallons of liquid manure annually. 

Issues raised at the meeting ranged from environmental concerns; to divisive effects on communities; to the implications factory farms will have on family farms.  Mr. Serby was told that small-scale hog production is as economically viable as mega farms, but due to the government's promotion of large-scale operations, small-scale operators are disappearing.  

The ministers were informed a mega hog operation is being developed in an area internationally recognized for its diverse bird-habitat – the Quill Lakes.  Each year the Quill Lakes are used by nearly one million birds - they are also a seasonal home to more than 150,000 shorebirds including the endangered Piping Plover. The towns of Wynyard, Wadena and Foam Lake have been actively promoting birding projects in the area in an attempt to attract tourists.

Mr. Serby was reminded that tourism should also play an important part in his rural revitalization plans. It was pointed out to Mr. Belanger that concerns over chemical changes to Big Quill Lake resulted in a full-scale environmental impact assessment being done when a potassium sulphate plant was built on the south shore of the lake in the 1980's – however, mega hog operations in Saskatchewan have not yet had to undergo such an assessment. 

Environmental concerns were also an important issue in the Whitewood area where a mega hog operation near the Scissors Creek received provincial approval this spring. Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food have promised a two-foot dyke will be built around the barn sites, but the potential for trouble if a manure spill occurs and it reaches the Qu'Appelle River was raised. Mr. Serby was asked to put a hold on construction until the site was re-assessed. The cabinet ministers were told that approximately 15 families live in the proximity of the proposed hog barns - some of which have plaques recognizing the fact the land has been in their families for 100 years. 

The delegation from the Churchbridge-Langenburg area told Mr. Serby the RM of Churchbridge had paid thousands of dollars for testing for suitable sites for barns without the consent of their ratepayers and the RM would only be repaid if the hog project went ahead. 

Concern was also expressed that a pilot project currently underway by the provincial government and SARM could take approval of intensive livestock operations out of the hands of municipalities. Mr. Serby and Belanger were told that a mega hog project was not compatible with plans for attracting tourism to a proposed mineral spa in the Langenburg area. 

Representatives from the Foam Lake-Sheho area outlined the series of events that took place in the RM of Foam Lake last winter, where a mega hog project was turned down. They expressed concerns that mega hog industry officials sit on committees that make decisions on how their industry is regulated. There are no guarantees that the public's interests and concerns are addressed, the Foam Lake group said.  Industrial farming is not economic growth, but destruction of a way of life, the delegation stated. 

Mr. Belanger was asked why piezometer readings around earthen hog lagoons in Rama (which measure possible leakage) are not available to the public, or even to environment department officials. "The government sets them up (mega hog operations) and then they regulate themselves," one farmer commented. 

The Archerwill-Rose Valley delegation discussed a proposed 5,000-sow hog operation in the RMs of Barrier Valley and Ponass Lake. They were concerned that a questionnaire circulated at an informational meeting held April 9th in Archerwill and Rose Valley was taken as an indication the public welcomed the project. However, residents of the northern half of the RM of Barrier Valley, closest to Tisdale, received no notice of the meetings at all. Local residents have since formed a "Stop The Hogs Coalition" and petitions are being circulated against the project in both RMs. A plebiscite in the RM of Ponass Lake has been sent out to ratepayers and must be returned by June 30th. 

Mr. Serby was asked to leave the business of raising livestock to the farmers of Saskatchewan. "Farmers are a versatile bunch, but family farms can't compete with corporate farms - especially those funded by government money. With pork prices as low as they are, these corporations are losing money, and yet they plan to expand," a Rose Valley area resident said.  With the federal government suggesting farmers will have to prepare individual environmental farm plans by the year 2008, Mr. Serby was asked why his government was encouraging the unprecedented growth of the mega hog industry - an industry whose environmental practices will soon be outdated, if not outlawed. 

That issue was also raised by the delegation from Watson-Quill Lake, which asked Mr. Serby to put a hold on the hog development in their RM until new technology such as bio-digesters are available. The digesters, which are used in Europe and on at least one Alberta Hutterite colony, remove methane gas from manure and convert it to electricity. Water can be re-used, and only a small amount of concentrated manure remains. However, their arguments failed to sway Mr. Serby, who said Saskatchewan currently raises fewer cattle than Alberta and fewer hogs than Manitoba.  At one point during the meeting he interjected,  "You're all telling me the same thing, and I've heard these arguments before." 

Mr. Belanger stated his department is not being pressured by Sask Agriculture to approve sites that shouldn't be developed. He said they act independently of Mr. Serby's department.

Jack Maluga

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Raising Hogs
Western Producer
June 19, 2003

To the Editor:

I will begin this letter by praising Greg and Bonnie Spragg of Rosemary, Alberta.  They are raising hogs outdoors.  That makes you good stewards of land, air, water and environment in my book.

I am also pleased to hear the consumers in their area are supporting the Spraggs, because as we know, the mega hog operators are squeezing out the small operators.  I have not purchased fresh pork at the supermarkets or ordered it as food in a restaurant for many years because the flavour or odour is not acceptable to me.

I also found the letter by Delwyn J.J. Jansen of LeRoy, Sask interesting (Open Forum, May 1.) - his idea of building a hog barn in the heart of Saskatoon.

Well, I also have an idea.  I think they should build a hog barn by provincial legislature buildings.  There’s plenty of water from Wascana Creek.  The hog manure could be used as fertilizer on all that grass, but most importantly, all the politicians could keep up with the developments of this great rural revitalizing plan for rural residents.

Also, the city cousins would be able to enjoy the same atmosphere as their country cousins…

The greatest problem and threat to our country living is our provincial government and the multi-millions they are giving for all the mega hog operators.  The local developers are only interested in the multi-millions they will be able to access.  For instance, the local developers of Quill Lakes area are proposing, along with Big Sky Hog Farms, to construct a 5,000-sow hog operation in their ecologically sensitive wildlife area, which has become well known by the tourist trade.

Why would anyone living in this area want to destroy what they already have just to gain some taxpayers’ dollars for a very few people?…

It is time that mega hog operators and government departments started to insist on environmentally friendly methods of intensive livestock operations.  The guidelines need to be changed to improve the land, air, water and environment in our rural area.  Present practices are destroying all of the above and at what cost to the people’s health?

There are safer methods of raising hogs.

Pauline Lapitsky,
Theodore, SK

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Documents Support ILO
Wadena News
July 30, 2003

Dear Editor:

At the annual RM of Big Quill ratepayers’ meeting held last March in Wynyard, it was announced that six RMs were taking part in a pilot project initiated by the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), to draft common planning statements and common zoning regulations.  The process had the blessing of Saskatchewan Agrivision Corporation, an agricultural think-tank which fervently believes that, when it comes to farming, bigger is definitely better.

The community planning branch of the provincial government was providing the supervision, guidance and expertise – which immediately brought to mind the phrase which originated from the Trojan Wars:  “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”

Well, the zoning bylaws and planning statement are now finished and available to the public at the exorbitant fee of $25 from the RM of Big Quill (for a 24-page document).  Fees in neighbouring RMs vary slightly.  Or, you can inspect them at the RM of Big Quill office prior to the council meeting on Aug. 11 that will hear submissions on the bylaws.  But that may be a little difficult, since the local RM office is closed for holidays from July 14 to Aug. 4.

In a previous letter to the editor, I wrote this could be the most important municipal document farmers would see in their lifetimes.  It covers all aspect of land use within the six RMs, and not surprisingly, squarely backs intensive livestock operations, which was the original goal of the whole process.

SARM, Agrivision and the Calvert government have been searching for ways to have intensive livestock operations (in particular, mega hog operations) move into rural Saskatchewan without having to face a battle from local residents – and with these bylaws, they think they’ve solved their problems!

According to the planning statement, these six RM councils not only acknowledge the unfortunate trend to intensive livestock operations in this province, but encourage it!  Is this a sampling of public opinion in their respective RMs, or a line that was fed to them?

Considering the scope of the zoning package, our local councils don’t seem to anticipate much interest from their ratepayers.  Public hearings in the RM of Big Quill and the RM of Elfros will be held in early August in their respective council chambers.  In this area, only the RM of Emerald took the initiative to book a community hall.

I hope the councillors find their chambers full to overflowing with interested ratepayers.

Jack Maluga,  

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