|"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.
July 14, 2003
de la Chaudiere
Dear Mr. Anderson;
am part of a rapidly growing group of concerned Canadians and citizens
of this province which is becoming increasingly alarmed by the proliferation
of pig factories in Canada, and, more specifically, in my area of east
Agricultural Act in this province has been designed to protect the factory
operators, leaving the residents with no power, no voice, and no recourse.
One by one, our communities are brought under siege, each forced to
re-invent the same fight to keep these ‘pollution shoppers’ out.
Sadly, they usually fail, left with broken relationships and broken
operations are set up, there is no avenue by which they can be adequately
regulated, monitored, punished or shut down for their reckless contamination
of our water and air.
people who say they are protecting our precious water at source are
compromising it every time they give out another permit! They refuse to see the danger in what they are doing.
independent Environmental Impact Studies are required before the provincial
government issues an operating permit to these factories.
The provincial government makes the rules, does the testing, monitors
(?!) the operations, and slaps the wrist of any offenders (the fines for any
transgressions can be ‘all the way up’ to a maximum of $5,000.00 - the price
of their daily telephone bill!). The fox is in the chicken coop and
there is no one doing anything about it.
year, each operation draws millions of gallons of drinking water – my
drinking water and yours - out of the ground to support these factories. Every year, that water is turned into millions of gallons of raw,
liquid manure that is collected in huge cesspools and then spread on our
soil to soak into the surface and ground waters. It seems to me to be a 'ticking bomb'. I'm afraid that we
are allowing a very dangerous activity to continue and increase – illness
and death have struck similar situations in other areas already. Do people have to die because we cannot learn from the mistakes and
experiences of others?
fear that, in a surprisingly short time, we will be left with a 'dead
zone' - no one will live in this beautiful, yet-undefiled part of our
province. This is economic
development? The pollution will
continue to leach downwards and outwards, throughout the entire area,
causing irremediable damage. Future
generations will suffer enormous consequences because of this madness. Is this preserving our environment for them?
Is this exploitation of our resources the way to lay the foundation
for a better quality of life for them?
Give the production of our food back to our farmers – not to
foreign factory operators!
is the United Nations Year of Fresh Water, but it ain't happenin' here!
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to Saskatchewan Party Regarding Position on ILOs
October 10, 2003
The NDP government is turning Saskatchewan into a rural slum with the
creation of mega factory farm hog barns across the province. It is
incongruous that in a province prone to drought we would promote this type
My concerns are water quality and quantity, toxic air emissions, the
destruction of the family farm and in the inhumane and unhealthy housing for
the animals and the antibiotic resistance that develops from these conditions
making the quality of meat questionable.
What will you do about these factory farms if you are elected?
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from Saskatchewan Party Regarding Position on ILOs
October 14, 2003
you so much for your recent letter to several Saskatchewan Party candidates
regarding your concerns about hog barn development in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan Party is not opposed to the development of intensive livestock
operations in our province. In fact, intensive livestock operations
are prime example of economic development opportunities that will help to
grow our economy. To move our agriculture industry away from one of
primarily grain production to more value-added industry would help to
stabilize this important industry and thus be of economic benefit to the
being said, I do recognize that many like yourself are concerned about
potential negative environmental impacts of these developments. I
believe that responsible public policy can help us achieve the benefits of
economic development through intensive livestock operations without risking
the environment. Other provinces in Canada
that already have well established intensive livestock operations have not
seen a marked decline in their environment when compared to Saskatchewan.
you so much for your inquiry.
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to Saskatchewan NDP Regarding Position on ILOs
October 15, 2003
I have moved into an urban
environment after 10 years of rural living.
Our current government is turning
Saskatchewan into a rural slum.
The creation of numerous
‘factory farm’ hog barns across our province is deplorable. It
is incongruous that in a province prone to drought, we would promote
this type of agribusiness.
Among my concerns are water
quality and quantity, toxic air emissions, the destruction of the family
farm, the inhumane and unhealthy housing for the animals and the antibiotic
resistance that develops from these conditions making the quality of meat
The current government is
promoting an industry that will provide short-term economic gains and
certain long-term disaster.
What will you do to stop this
insanity if you are elected?
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Response from Saskatchewan NDP Regarding Position on ILOs
October 17, 2003
Thank you for your e-mail regarding hog barns. You have sent this e-mail
to seven NDP candidates, to whom I have forwarded your concerns.
Please note that NDP candidate e-mail comes to the provincial party
The New Democrats' platform as well as government regulations are
addressing the issues raised in your e-mail. We are certainly
prepared to review those regulations as we implement new initiatives that
are outlined in the platform.
Building on the success of the Spirit Creek Watershed Monitoring
Committee, we will be expanding soil and water quality monitoring across
the province, taking both preventative and corrective actions as
necessary. We're going to continue the farm family opportunity
initiative to provide supports to maintain family farms through increased
diversification and value-added production.
We're also beginning a bio-mass pilot project in the Cudworth area to help
better manage livestock wastes, emissions/odours, while creating energy
and fertilizer bi-products. Within the next few months, we will also
put in place a provincial bio diversity plan to ensure that we have
long-term measures in place to protect our ecosystems and unique
Thanks again for your interest.
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Response from David Anderson,
Federal Minister of Environment
Thank you for
your letter concerning the environmental impacts of large-scale hog
factories in Canada, specifically in Saskatchewan.
I share your
concerns about the potentially harmful effects of large-scale hog production
on human health and the surrounding environment.
Please be assured that my department recognizes the importance of
dealing effectively with intensive livestock operations, to ensure that the
environment is protected.
As you are
aware, the location and operation of livestock facilities in Canada falls
under the authority of provincial and municipal governments, where zoning
by-laws and other conditions of operation are enforced.
The Government of Canada does, however, recognize that environmental
protection is a critical issue for citizens, and that there is
interdependence between agriculture and the environment.
With the announcement in June 2002 of the Agricultural Policy
Framework (APF), significantly strengthened environmental components will be
implemented to protect the environment from agricultural activities, and to
achieve measurable and meaningful environmental goals in the areas of water,
air and soil quality, and biodiversity.
To ensure that
the aquatic environment is protected, Environment Canada officials are
emphasizing the importance of dealing effectively with intensive livestock
operations, as well as other forms of agriculture.
In delivering on the APF environmental goals outlined above, my
department is working closely with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC),
other federal government departments, and provincial environment and
agriculture departments, to address water quality issues, to improve farm
practices, and to ensure that the environment is protected across Canada.
This includes the development of new beneficial management practices
for manure management and storage.
The intent of
the APF is threefold: to help
the agriculture industry recognize its impact on the environment; to support
producers and land owners in taking actions that reduce environmental risk
from agricultural operations; and to promote the continuous growth of the
stewardship ethic within the industry.
As such, the federal government is confident that the work now being
done to establish agri-environmental farm plans, standards and beneficial
management practices will be favourably received and implemented by the
I am enclosing
an information supplement that provides details on Government of Canada
actions with respect to this important environmental issue.
your bringing your concerns to my attention, and trust that my comments are
Anderson, P.C., M.P.