Public Demonstrate Strong Interest in Bill 17

CANADA - Manitoba's Conservation Minister reports interest among members of the agricultural community in proposed changes the province's environment act has been strong, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 13 June 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Bill 17, the Environment Amendment Act, proposes permanent bans on building or expanding hog production facilities in three regions of the province.

The bill has passed first and second reading and the Legislative Assembly's Agriculture and Food Committee is now hearing public comment and reviewing the bill prior to third reading and passage.

Conservation minister Stan Struthers says the public comment period is an important part of the democratic process.

Stan Struthers-Manitoba Conservation Minister

It's where the public really has its best opportunity to look down that table eyeball to eyeball with MLAs from all sides of the house and tell us what they think about a piece of legislation, in this case Bill 17.

We've had a whole number of people, very patient people sometimes into the wee hours of the night talking to us about their farm operations, about protecting water in Manitoba and just really telling us what they think about Bill 17.

There have a lot of hog producers come forward to talk to us, a lot of members of Hutterite colonies throughout southern Manitoba.

We've had a very high level of interest in this bill.

Farmers and people who have businesses that work in Agro-Manitoba have been very keen to talk to myself and my colleagues.

We appreciate that advice and I sit through every presentation and listen and I'm just glad we have that opportunity as part of our democratic process.

Struthers says, once all presenters have been heard from, their comments will be analyzed prior to the bill moving back to the house for third reading in the fall.

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