July 11, 2022
Last week’s weak-kneed decision by the Saskatchewan and Saskatoon
governments to cave in to the forces of the hog industry and “the
stakeholders” for some short-term financial gains from the increased
production, slaughter and processing of hogs in this province spells
nothing short of disaster for all Saskatchewan residents.
In June, the provincial government
dished out $37.3 million for a new push to ‘grow’ the meat processing industry. Last week, there
was the $35 million grant (gift) to help Maple Leaf move in to the (still)
beautiful city of Saskatoon with its expanded slaughter capacity. There’s
the ongoing 70% government ownership of Big Sky Hog Farm with Sask Investment’s
$15 million to keep it operating (at a loss!). To say nothing of the
constant ‘propping-up’ of failing hog/slaughter operations
and the hundreds of thousands of dollars given to this industry from
the federal CARDS program...
What this really means is:
more toxic hog manure on our land and increased potential for contamination
of our water sources; more pollution in the
Saskatchewan River and the inevitable loss of our tourist and fishing
industries; more broken communities as they fight to keep more pig factories
from destroying their livelihood, lifestyle and land values; more sick
kids from the toxic and dangerous fumes from the hog barns; more traffic
on our over-taxed road system, more noise, etc., etc. - as we relentlessly
work our way towards other Walkerton’s across the province.
It also means less support for small family farmers who produce food
from animals using humane, safe and sustainable methods.
Is this obsession with the meat industry all this government knows?
Is this the ONLY vision our local, provincial and federal governments
have for the future of this province, awash in hog manure? Is this the
best we get from these decision-makers who are elected to protect our
environmental and health rights?
There must be a better way
to build the equity for Saskatchewan’s