Hogs and Water. A private citizen appeals to the Premier of Manitoba.

Dear Premier Brian Pallister,

It’s time for you and your government to stop playing Russian Roulette with the health of our waterways. Mr. Premier, you need to implement the “precautionary principle” and immediately stop the unbridled expansion of factory pig barns in the province. Scores of huge new barns have been going up - often in the face of opposition from nearby residents - for well over a year now, ever since your government slashed important environmental, health and safety regulations in order to make it happen. 
Lake Winnipeg, transformed into the bright, blue-green hue of poisonous algae.
Photo by European Space Agency.
There’s already plenty of both “circumstantial,” and scientific evidence that hog waste has played a role in reducing Lake Winnipeg to a mucky mess which can be seen from space (above).

Pigs have outnumbered people by the millions in our province for many years now. And that imbalance will only be widening with industry expansion. Hogs produce much more waste than humans. And, except for accidental releases, human sewage is treated while hog slurry - spread on vast areas of food crops as a fertilizer - is not.

And, instead of acting in the financial interests of foreign corporations, which now control Manitoba’s slaughtering facilities, your government should be thinking instead of your own citizens. 

For example, the ability of many cottage communities along the south basin to enjoy their properties this summer has been ruined by a dramatic buildup of poisonous algae which has collected along their beaches and seriously sickened some of their pets who drank the water. Some cottagers say, it’s the worst they’ve ever seen.

Could the reason your government has conducted no proper water testing be, it’ll show just how much the industry is contributing to the pollution? So, why not do the testing, gather the scientific data which has been lacking so far, and settle the issue, once and for all?

I believe many Manitobans share these concerns. If you do, please contact your local MLAs and tell them so.

Larry Powell
Shoal Lake MB