No Public Review for Critical Environmental Concerns


January 15, 2022

Letter to the Editor

No public review…

At their annual meeting in October 2005, members of Nature Saskatchewan, concerned with the industry’s inherent environmental and health threats, unanimously passed a resolution calling for a public review of all aspects of the province’s industrial hog production. The resolution was then sent to the government for consideration.

In his December 2005 “thanks for expressing your concerns” letter, David Forbes, Minister of the Environment, stated that he expects “the (environmental and health) issues raised in the resolution will receive consideration as the Green Strategy is developed.” Not a word about a public review!

This response, in spite of resolutions, passed several years ago by both the Canadian and American Medical and Public Health Associations, which also focussed on the environmental and health concerns related to industrial hog production.

This response, in spite of the Auditor General’s scathing assessment of hog farming in Canada contained in the Report on the Environment released in September 2005 which stated that, since the hog industry has expanded by nearly 50% since 1981 - shifting from “farm to factory” - there is potential for hog manure to contaminate our water, soil and air.

The Report goes on: “Canadian scientists are still unsure of the effects that manure from hog farms has on water quality and human health”; “Environment Canada cannot yet demonstrate that its compliance promotion (of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act) and enforcement efforts at hog farms are effective”; and, “the Department (of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) does not know if its programs (to monitor the environmental impacts of agriculture) are achieving their expected results.”

Big business/big money continues to run our province, our country, and our governments. And, the exploitation of our resources continues to threaten our precious environment and health, and that of our children - without precaution, without protection from harm.

Elaine Hughes

Archerwill, SK