Saturday, 26 November 2016

An Open Letter to the Premier of Manitoba.

Dear Premier Pallister: from John Fefchak.

I have concerns and am speaking out for the despair of Lake Winnipeg and our precious water sources in Manitoba.

On the website of Canadian Dimension magazine, of June 30, 2007, author, Cy Gonick wrote about hog politics.

He tells us:

" This kind of intensive hog production causes air pollution-noxious odours, toxic gases and drug pollution. As well, antibiotics, growth-promoting chemicals and other veterinary drugs end up in the animals themselves and enter the environment through their manure and urine, contaminating the water, the soil and our food. And also with this, more evidence has emerged connecting mega hog barns to increased damage to Lake Winnipeg".

I will remind you Premier, that when the NDP were in opposition, and prior to becoming government in 1999, they too expressed grave concerns of the factory hog industry attaining a foothold in Manitoba. They also voiced concerns about the vast quantities of manure, the water contamination, the environment and implications of social sustainability. Yet, basically nothing has evolved for the better in the past years of the NDP banner. They became government and those concerns apparently disappeared 
as they exchanged seating positions in the Manitoba Legislature, ….for the swine herd continued to steadily increase by several million animals.  
Those same concerns are prominent and with us, even to-day!

Sixteen plus years have gone by,and yes, there have been some minor changes and promises to improve.
Recently,however, there has been a resurgence in Manitoba's factory hog industry and plans to further increase hog production are presently being undertaken. Hog feces stored in more of the cheaper structures  promises more nutrient leaching and increases the the danger and probability of contamination. Pig waste is appropriately categorized and recognized as a hazardous waste. What odour control measures are being put in place and how is that going to be addressed?... for this is also a health issue.  
A questionable and threatening undertaking Premier, for research has determined that hog manure is the biggest single risk to Lake Winnipeg.

And furthermore,  studies carried out in Manitoba over the past several years, and reported by Manitoba Conservation, have concluded that earthen storages seep and are a threat to ground and surface water. This is not the advanced technical protection that is required and needed tprotect the environment and our water sources from pollution. The Red Tape Reduction Task Force being conceived needs to be reminded that the enactment of Save Lake Winnipeg Act "was totally supported in the Manitoba Legislative in June of 2011". The NDP government passed the Save Lake Winnipeg Act to keep phosphorus out of Lake Winnipeg, cracking down on hog manure entering our waterways and protecting wetlands. 

Lake Winnipeg has recently been declared as the most polluted fresh water lake in the world. What a shameful example and cost we bear to conduct ourselves in the name of opportunistic development, that pollutes our most vital and life resource…Water.

It is time for all governments to deal with water issues and address the sources of contaminates and pollution, otherwise Canada and particularly Manitoba, will be known as the land of Dying Lakes and Rivers. Governments can no longer be in denial about water problems and simply turn their backs on the situation. 

It is also time to recognize that there is a better way of raising hogs for meat export and to implement the necessary changes to have this accomplished.

Yours Truly,
John Fefchak.

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