Manitoba Agriculture Minister Defends Proposed Planning Act

by 5m Editor
22 March 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1472. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council

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Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1472

Manitoba's Agriculture Minister says she's comfortable with changes being proposed to the province's planning act and is looking forward to debate on the issue as the legislation moves forward.

Bill 40, introduced in the Manitoba legislature earlier this month, is scheduled to come into effect at the beginning of 2005 and will give municipalities two years to implement development plans.

Manitoba Pork Council has voiced several concerns, chief among them that the bill leaves municipalities with the authority to reject any livestock development or expansion application.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Rosann Wowchuk says a lot of work has gone this planning act.

"Remember we put together the Livestock Stewardship Initiative. We did a lot of consultation with the industry and with municipalities on how the planning act should be changed and we have brought those changes forward.

Municipalities are going to have to look at the land that they're responsible for and do some serious zoning.

They're going to have to identify areas that are suitable for agriculture, areas that are suitable for residential areas.

When you say there have been concerns, the industry has always told us, 'have the municipalities tell us where they want livestock operations and where they don't.' This will do that.

Municipalities will do their development plans in an open process. The public will be in consultation so it reflects the views of the people that live in that municipality and then we'll move forward on it".

Wowchuk says, as with any legislation, the public will have the opportunity to comment and if amendments are needed amendments can be made but the province is comfortable with the legislation that's been drafted.

She says agriculture is an important industry in the province and municipalities need to do their planning to give people involved in the industry certainty.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor