Canada

Featured

Beyond Factory Farming Coalition

The Beyond Factory Farming Coalition’s mission is to promote livestock production that supports food sovereignty, ecological, human and animal health, as well as sustainability and community viability and informed citizen/consumer choice. The website is written in both English and French.

Avian Flu Factsheet

Produced by The Beyond Factory Farming Coalition, this factsheet describes how the spread of Avian Flu can be controlled by focusing on intensive poultry operations rather than backyard flocks (which are erroneously assumed to be the prevalent flu vector). Use the factsheet as a basis for a letter to the editor, send it to reporters, and distribute it at events such as Seedy Saturday, your Farmers’ Markets and public meetings. Also, read the press release about the spreading and development on Avian Flu on Asian poultry farms.

The Farm Crisis and Corporate Profits

For Canadian farm families and their net incomes, 2004 was the second-worst year in history. But for agribusiness, 2004 was the best year in history. Is there a link? This report uses 2004 as a case study and takes a detailed look at the profitability of the dominant agribusiness corporations. (National Farmers Union, November 30, 2005)

Bill 40 Withdrawn, Manitoba Moving Ahead on Land Use Planning

Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade Minister, Scott Smith, announced that Manitoba will accelerate plans to improve environmental protection and the planning process. (News Media Services, November 2, 2004)

General Resources

The Current State of the Battle

An outline of a speech by Dr. William Weida about contending with the ILO permitting process, the role of local governments, and suggested solutions to Canada’s intensive livestock problems. Given at the SERLO (Society for Environmentally Responsible Livestock Operations) meeting in Red Deer, Alberta. (March 29, 2003)

Farm Facts or Fiction

This Flash presentation describes the adverse impact of corporate agribusiness on family farmers in Canada. The presentation demonstrates that the rapid disappearance of small family farms has not occurred because large industrial operations are more efficient; it is the result of the domination of the agri-food market by a small number of huge corporations able to manipulate market prices paid to farmers, and of government policies that favor the interests of corporate agribusiness over those of farmers and consumers.

Land Stewardship Resource Centre

An electronic clearinghouse and free educational referral service. Designed for Albertans, it contains a wealth of information about user-friendly land-use conservation practices, programs, agencies, and referrals for hundreds of resources – from books and videos to websites.

Stop the Hogs

A thorough site that explores many of the issues of corporate agriculture and does a good job keeping updated with events and meetings. It is focused on the Saskatchewan area, and Sask Pork in particular, but is a good resource for anyone fighting hog farms.

Reports:

Backgrounder on Intensive Livestock Operations and their Environmental Effects

A summary of document reviews and interviews with experts and citizens. The information is divided into three main sections: experiences in other jurisdictions; water quality and health effects in Southern Alberta; and decision-making, policy and regulation. (Cheryl Bradley, Debby Gregorash, Anne Miller; Southern Alberta Environmental Group; April 1998)

Comments on the Appeal by the Taiwan Sugar Corporation of the denial of a development proposal for a farrow-to-finish hog operation in the county of Forty Mile, Alberta, Canada

(Dr. William Weida, August 20, 2000).

Comments on the Permit Materials Submitted by DGH and the Taiwan Sugar Corporation Concerning Economic Development and a Farrow-to-Finish Hog Operation in the Country of Flagstaff, Alberta, Canada

(Dr. William Weida, October 20, 2000).

Effect of Hog ILOs on Property Values

A series of letters on property values and property appraisals of homes near hog confinements.

Hog Environmental Management Strategy (HEMS) Publications

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) put forth this vision for the growing hog industry. These reports and publications analyze the current environmental challenges and identify ways to significantly reduce environmental constraints to hog production. (1998-1999)

Impact Calculations for a Hog Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

A set of calculations on water usage and land application tailored to the specifics of a proposed operation in Canada. (Dr. William Weida, May 18, 2000)

The ILO and Depopulation of Rural Agricultural Areas: Implications for Rural Economies in Canada and the US

This paper makes the case that (1) depopulation of rural areas is occurring because of CAFOs and (2) rural agricultural areas are becoming increasingly separated from the communities that reside in those areas. (Dr. William Weida, November 8, 2002)

Industrial Swine Operation and Community Health Effects – Medical Evaluation and Risk Assessment

Conclusions: Concentrated animal feeding operations are responsible for numerous health complaints from community neighbors. There have been few health studies to evaluate the physical, mental, and quality of life impacts on those residents, but the few studies completed so far have demonstrated a negative impact on the physical, mental and social health of the population affected. (Dr Robert Bourdeau, Medical Officer of Health, Eastern Ontario Health Unit 27 October, 2003)

Large-Scale Hog Production and Processing: Concerns for Manitobans

A report about the expansion of hog production in Manitoba, based on information presented at the Citizens’ Hearing on Hog Production and the Environment, held in October 1999 in Brandon. The report analyzes the social, environmental, economic and public health impacts of large-scale hog production. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba, May 2000)

Living in a Sea of Cheap Grain

The corporate conversion of Saskatchewan’s hog production policy. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, December 2002)

Public Enemy #1: Manure

A report by the Environmental Commissioner found that livestock farms in Ontario and Quebec are threatening human health by producing massive amounts of manure. (Sun Times, October 3, 2001)

Review of the Development Proposal for a Farrow-to-Finish Hog Operation by the Taiwan Sugar Corporation in the County of Forty Mile, Alberta, Canada.

(Dr. William Weida, June 12, 2000)

The Structural Adjustment of Canadian Agriculture

The term “structural adjustment” is most commonly used to describe programs that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) impose on highly indebted developing nations. Much of the Canadian economy, however, has also been structurally adjusted. Canadian agriculture offers a clear example of how structural adjustment is being implemented within Canada – with negative results similar to those in other nations. (Darrin Qualman and Nettie Wiebe, for the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, November 2002)

Articles:

Former Hog Proponent Soured on Experience

A citizen provides a first hand account of his experience dealing with a hog operation. (Letter to Crossroads, November 3, 2001)

Hog Wild: Manitoba’s Reckless Agriventure

Manitoba’s friendly tolerance of large-scale industrial hog-breeding facilities has citizens and organizations angry and fighting. (The Aquarian, Summer 2004)

Quebec Imposes Longer Moratorium on New Hog Farms

The province of Quebec announced an 18-month moratorium on the opening of new hog farms, extending the 6-month moratorium that had been in place since May 1. (Reuters, June 14, 2002)

Raising a Stink

Farm towns have a distinct odor that residents are used to. But the factory farm has an altogether different odor that deteriorates the quality of rural life, so citizens are fighting back. (Harrowsmith Country Life, December 1998)

There is no Cheap Pork

In the battle between modern agribusiness and traditional agriculture, increased efficiency comes up against the less-quantifiable long-term social and environmental costs. (The Aquarian, Summer 2004)

Why Manitoba Must “Quit Stalling”

Caging sows on concrete is the root of Manitoba’s mega hog-barn problem. (The Aquarian, Summer 2004)

Government and Federal Agencies:

Federal/Canadian Agencies

Jurisdiction over agriculture in Canada is divided between the federal government and the provinces. The regulation of factory farms is carried out primarily at the provincial level, but there are some areas where the federal government has regulatory jurisdiction. Furthermore, federal agriculture policy has a great influence on provincial decision-making.

For an overview of standards and regulations in all jurisdictional levels in North America, see the study, Comparative Standards for Intensive Livestock Operations in Canada, Mexico, and the US, Prepared for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 4 February 2002.

Areas of federal jurisdiction that affect factory farms:

Generally, federal involvement in industrial livestock production in Canada is in the area of agricultural research rather than regulation. Often federal assistance is directed through provincial initiatives.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Federal Agriculture Agency website.

Farmer’s Advocate of Alberta

Established by the Minister of Agriculture in 1973, the Farmers’ Advocate is an individual with an agricultural background and farming experience who is appointed by the Provincial Government to deal with problems and concerns of Alberta farmers.

Natural Resources Conservation Board (NRCB)

A provincial regulatory agency for Alberta’s natural resource and confined feeding industries. The NRCB works to ensure that Alberta’s natural resources are developed in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible manner.

Ropin’ The Web

Agricultural agribusiness website for Alberta, Canada

Groups:

Beyond Factory Farming Coaltion

Beyond Factory Farming Coalition is a national coalition whose mission is to promote livestock production that supports food sovereignty, ecological, human and animal health, as well as sustainability and community viability and informed citizen/consumer choice. The website is written in both English and French.

Les AmiEs de la Terre de Québec

The general mandate of Les AmiEs de la Terre de Québec (ATQ) is to establish an ecological society based on natural auto-regulation, biodiversity, wisdom and equality. Contact: Anne-Marie Turmel

The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals

The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals is a national organization working on the issue of farm animal welfare, particularly on battery cage and sow stall use, but also on transportation and slaughter. Contact: Bruce Passmore

Canadian Organic Growers

Canadian Organic Growers Inc. is Canada’s national membership-based education and networking organization representing farmers, gardeners and consumers in all provinces.

Citizens for the Environment and Future in Eastern Ontario

A citizen group devoted to stopping industrial hog farms and helping to preserve local farming and the environment.

Concerned Citizens for Our Community Environments

Citizens fighting the proposed intensive livestock operation in Erinsville, Ontario.

Council of Canadians

The Council of Canadians is a citizens’ watchdog organization comprised of over 100,000 members and more than 70 Chapters across the country. Strictly non-partisan, the Council lobbies members of Parliament, conducts research, and runs national campaigns aimed at spotlighting issues ranging from social programs, economic justice, renewing democracy, asserting Canadian sovereignty, advancing alternatives to corporate-style free trade, and preserving the environment.

David Suzuki Foundation

The Foundation covers a wide range of issues and tackles programs such as free-range farming and BSE.

EatKind.net

Eatkind.net promotes ethical eating by acting as an online source of information about ethical food choices and a worldwide directory of directories of sellers of comparatively ethically produced foods. So long as people eat animal products, a major aspect of Eatkind.net’s mission will be to encourage those people to choose the most humane and sustainable options. Contact: Syd Baumel

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario

Educates farmers about ecological methods of farming to create an agriculture that maintains and enhances the health of the soil, the crops, the livestock and the farm community through the understanding of ecological principles.

Environmental Defense Canada

Environmental Defense protects the environment and human health through research, education and campaigns focusing on projects like greening cities.

National Farmers Union

Member families of the Union believe that through an organization that represents all commodities produced in Canada, it is possible to promote the family farm as the most appropriate and efficient means of agricultural production. The NFU’s goal is to achieve agricultural policies which will ensure dignity and security of income for farm families while enhancing the land for future generations.

Save Our Ste-Marie

Citizens, farmers, and communities across New Brunswick and beyond are working to stop environmentally unfriendly and socially irresponsible agriculture.

Sierra Club of Canada

The Sierra Club has been active in Canada since 1969, working on matters of public policy and environmental awareness. There are local activist chapters and working groups in every region of the country. The Club does extensive research on factory farm environmental and health issues.

Stop the Hogs Coalition

A group of ratepayers of the RMs of Barrier Valley and Ponass Lake who are opposed to the proposal for North East Hogs/Big Sky Farms to establish a 5,000-sow mega hog operation in the Tisdale/Archerwill area.

Union Paysanne

This organization works to promote small-scale farming by supporting the establishment of an agricultural policy based on the following objectives: food sovereignty, food safety, crop diversity and biological diversity, dynamic land use, protection of the rural environment, and quality of life for farmers, rural residents and consumers. The organization strives to encourage small farms and local marketing of products to halt the industrialization of agriculture and the depopulation of the countryside; to ensure the quality of food and of the environment; and to restore rural citizenship.

Regulations:

Manitoba

Bill 40 (The Planning Amendment Act)
This Bill makes a number of changes to The Planning Act. Many of the changes concern the way in which municipalities consider applications to develop or expand livestock operations. The Bill establishes a uniform hearing and approval process for applications to develop or expand livestock operations.