Showing posts with the label Letter

Writer condemns the wisdom of allowing factory farms to proliferate in Manitoba

  Letter to the editor. "The entire pork industry in Manitoba is facing a difficult time. That includes the hog farmers as well as the processors," GM Cam Dahl of MB Pork told the Brandon Sun, 17 June,2023.   Without the benefit of taxpayers’ dollars (read: government support), the Manitoba hog industry (not farming) would have collapsed many years ago.  Born and raised on a farm, I appreciate the proper raising and care of swine. Pigs produced in a factory-type situation however, live in conditions that are far removed from achieving humane animal stewardship status.  Bad ideas and poor operating principles are very costly for the animals, our environment and society.  It was some 24 years ago that the Filmon Progressive Conservative government unfurled the red carpet and opened Pandora’s box for the hog Industry to come into Manitoba. Now, since being elected in 2016, the Pallister and Stefanson regimes—through their Red Tape Reduction Act—have taken the cue to further expa

Substance or showmanship? What's the key to success at the polls? According to the "At Issue" panel - the answer might surprise you! (Letter)

Dear Editor, And here I thought there were things governments could do to make our planet safer from the ravages of manmade climate change - offer subsidies to those who give us cleaner energy alternatives, or regulations to those who pollute.  Then, those of us who want to save our earthly home from climate catastrophe, can simply vote for the Party that seems most likely to do these things. The “At Issue" panel on CBC TV reminded me just how wrong I was, when they recently discussed the topic of Alberta, now facing epic wildfires amidst an election campaign. The guest panelist from Alberta thought “Danielle,” (Premier Danielle Smith) was “generally acting as a Premier” in the face of the crisis. (I wonder if she knows him as “Jason?”) The other panelists generally thought the way the Premier was handling things would probably be seen as "a plus,” too. Never mind that, it wasn't that long ago that Smith considered the science of climate change, “unsettled,” or now descri

No room for error on water

Letters - Winnipeg Free Press I wish to add to the comment made by Karen Lalonde (“Project a risk to aquifers,”  Letters , Feb. 28) that “there are other companies in Manitoba producing silica sand but not going through aquifers to attain it.” While this is true, this statement implies that drinking water is not affected by traditional silica sand mining methods. In the case of the Wanipigow Sand Mine, Canadian Premium Sand will use massive amounts of groundwater to wash their sand before exporting it. That groundwater presently drains to Lake Winnipeg, the Manigotogan and the Wanipigow rivers via fish-bearing creeks and underground springs. Four communities obtain their drinking water from the Wanipigow and Manigotogan rivers, and many cottagers along Lake Winnipeg use wells. In fact, the whole ecosystem well past the mine’s boundaries will likely be affected. A mine can’t take millions of gallons of water out of a watershed without affecting life. Four years after Canadian Premium Sa

Buying carbon indulgences (Letter)

Letter - Manitoba Co-Operator  Letters to the Editor Manitoba Cooperator Dear Mr. Gilmour: Re: The carbon credit reality Feb.25 Almost four years ago I saw a full colour, half page ad placed by the Manitoba Pork Council with the Winnipeg Free Press. It claimed that Big Pig, as I know the MPC, had the strictest environmental protection of any jurisdiction in North America. So I wrote the former CEO to ask who had the second strictest. Obligingly, he wrote back to say that he didn't know. Yes, he didn't know. Meaning that the published claim was specious. (I exposed that lie before a legislative committee with the CEO in the room and the ad never again appeared in the Free Press.)  So, excuse me if David McInnes' gushing about Canada's record in food sustainability appears to be similarly suspect. I duly note that he is under contract to 22 various and sundry special interest groups seeking some sort of Good Agribusiness Seal of Approval for food sustainability. You repor

Ag-gag laws make matters worse for hogs

By: Vicki Burns and Brittany Semeniuk Winnipeg Free Press - OPINION Sows confined to steel "gestation crates," a common practise in the industry. "Ag-gag" legislation is silently sweeping across the nation, and both Hog Watch Manitoba and the Winnipeg Humane Society have serious concerns. The term "ag-gag" refers to any piece of legislation which stifles the ability of concerned civilians to document and report animal cruelty and abuse inflicted upon farm animals. On March 10, the Manitoba government publicly released Bill 62 and Bill 63, which seek to make it illegal for Manitobans to not only document farm animals during transportation, but to bear witness to all livestock (including horses) in transport trucks, production facilities and slaughterhouses. Factory-style hog barns that are dominating the hog industry now are a far cry from the family farms that many of the public still envision. The pigs are never outside, but are constantly confined in lar

Of Pandemics and Climate Calamity. An Opinion Letter.

by Larry Powell I guess you could call this a “what if” letter. Wildfire smoke from hundreds of kilometres away, clouds this Manitoba landscape. A PinP photo.  What if  we humans would listen as intently to our specialists in the earth and climate sciences as we now seem to be doing to those in infectious disease? Except for a fringe few (like the wing-nut "Frontier Centre," which likens Covid-19 to a hoax),  many of us have accepted that this is serious and lives  will be saved  if we follow public health directives during this virus's heartless rampage.   Compare this to the attention given to the decades of warnings of climate collapse and eco-system breakdown from experts in the atmospheric sciences. The differences could not be more stark.   While our Medical Health Officers and other specialists in the field of infectious diseases are, rightly, being hailed as heroes, climatologists and others in similar fields, have been ignored, at best, or

Letter to the Editor RE: Meat-packing sector needs oversight

Published recently in the Winnipeg Free Press. The recent closures of meat packing plants in Alberta, Quebec and several American states due to the Covid-19 pandemic are shedding light on the tremendous expense of this style of massive meat processing operation. The expense borne by the workers at the plants is the greatest of all, their health threatened so severely, even causing death to one Cargill worker in Alberta. However the expense doesn’t stop there as consumers are expected to see meat prices jump , farmers have seen the prices paid for their animals drop by more than 30% and tax payers will ultimately pay the price to help bail out this sector. Several decades ago when the move to close smaller slaughterhouses in favour of building huge single entity plants was happening, the rationale was that there were going to be tremendous efficiencies in doing this. National Farmers Union studies showed that the promised efficiencies of consumers seeing cheaper meat and farmers m

Blogger supports the embattled climate campaigner, Greta Thunberg. (Opinion)

Dear Editor, So I guess the bully-boys of the world's petro-states sure have Greta Thunberg on the run now. Apparently their "eyebrows were raised" because the 16 year-old schoolgirl suggested global leaders be put "up against the wall" for their lack of action on our climate crisis. I guess they were terrified Greta was going to unleash her standing armies against the likes of Saudi Arabia's murderous Crown Prince and Brazil's homophobic, rainforest-destroying (and Trump wanna be) President. Apparently Saudi   Arabia, busily killing children in Yemen as we speak (quite possibly with the help of Canadian-made weapons), and Brazil, whose leader fires scientists for telling him the truth - that his policies are committing Brazilian rainforests to death by wildfire - were major hurdles in the way of any meaningful progress at the recently-failed environmental summit. (Canada's own role, I might add, was weak, unconvincing and disgusting.) So, sho

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. Hog

Just Say NO to 285 new hog factories in Manitoba!

Letter to the Editor Virden Empire-Advance May 3, 2018 01:57 PM Rural people could wake up one morning to find a factory hog barn next door, and there will be nothing they can say or do about it if the hog industry gets its way and the Pallister government passes Bill 19,  The Planning Amendment Act . Bill 19 gives local councils and planning districts the “choice” to get rid of the mandatory conditional use approval process for large livestock operations, along with all the legal protections the public currently has. In so choosing, municipalities give away the ability to set conditions such as requiring manure storage covers and shelterbelts to attempt to control odour and require development agreements to make the hog factory pay for road building and maintenance, instead of taxpayers. All municipalities will have to review their zoning by-laws and decide within one year if they want to control large factory hog and poultry operations, cattle and sheep feedlots on be

Blogger Warns of Creeping "Trumpism" (Letter)

Dear Editor, It’s like a train wreck in slow-motion. Just when you think Trump has made the worst possible choice for his cabinet, he announces another who’s even worse.  Rick Perry, the wacka-doodle ex-Governor of Texas, is a sad example. Perry couldn’t remember the name of one of the government departments he pledged to eliminate when he tried to run for President four years ago. Now,  Trump has named Perry to head it!   (It’s the department of Energy. You know, the “trivial” one responsible for the U.S. nuclear program!) 

My Latest Letter. Will it Make You Angry? I Hope So! (But Not at Me!)

by Larry Powell It’s like a nightmare in slow-motion. Just when you think Trump has made the worst possible choice for his cabinet, he announces another who’s even worse. 

Writer Laments Absence of MP From Poverty Debate.

Dear Editor,  I’m disappointed that our Conservative Member of Parliament, Robert Sopuck did not attend the forum on child poverty here in Neepawa recently. 

A Canadian Senior Citizen's Open Letter to the Minister of Agriculture

Dear Minister Ritz, I am a senior citizen (a scientist & a retired Professor from the University of Toronto). I am writing to you concerning your statements last April at an international conference in Saskatchewan (“Feeding the Global Middle Class”), regarding GMOs. You were quoted as saying (in the Western Producer): “Industry slow to defend GMOs”. A  ground sprayer at work in Manitoba. PinP photo. Actually, in my opinion, and in the opinion of tens-of-thousands of independent scientists globally: GMOs should be banned (& not DEFENDED!). The reason is simple: GMOs were “created” through a massive fraud in the United States about 25 years ago, then “exported” globally by a transnational cartel, and have never been tested adequately for safety in the food-chain.