Letters to the Editor
Re: Money Point Quarry
To the Editor:
In regards to the Money Point Quarry: All approvals for this quarry are from the provincial government and their Department of Environment. The Municipality of Victoria County played no role in its approval.
Councillor Norman Macdonald brought this issue to council on a number of occasions. The municipal council sent letters to Dexter Construction and the Department of Environment, asking that both host and/or attend an open house in the district to address our residents' concerns, but neither did. The Department of Environment suggested instead that residents voice their concerns to them via email or mail.
The Premier replied to a council letter sent in May, writing that the project is under conditional approval. Victoria County continues to advocate on constituent's behalf in regards to this matter, I encourage residents to voice their continuing concerns to the Department of Environment and Dexter Construction.
Correspondence to and from the Premier in regard to this issue, can be found on our website at victoriacounty.com.
Bruce Morrison, Warden Municipality of the County of Victoria
Sustainable beef certification questionable
I was rather underwhelmed by recent press regarding Mcdonalds starting to sell “certified sustainable beef”.
Claims that this is the first such program in the world don’t bear much scrutiny. Having read the program production protocols, I can assure you they are considerably less rigorous than those I was meeting for the Scottish Farm Assurance program in the early 1990s.
My experience with that program doesn’t encourage me that there will be any benefit to Canadian cattle producers from this program in the long run. The Scottish model similarly encouraged early participation with the promise of market premiums, yet once a critical mass was achieved the premiums disappeared and anyone that wasn’t “Farm Assured” had their produce discounted in the marketplace.
I predict Canada will follow the same path as Scotland with the cattle producer left to shoulder the burden of ongoing costs and regulation to meet the standards in perpetuity for no financial benefit. With only $20 per head being used as the bait in the trap -- and this being paid to the feedlot operator -- the rancher likely won’t get enough to buy a Big Mac the day he is in town selling his calves!
What really rankles me though, is that farmers and ranchers must be certified as having production practices attaining a certain level of environmental and operational sustainability - for Mcdonalds! The same Mcdonalds whose menu items are generally considered junk food contributing to the obesity epidemic and include a throw away Chinese made plastic toy with every “kids meal”? I’d like to know where the sustainability, environmental or otherwise, is in this case, and who is auditing them?
I think the real driver of this program is fulfilling the desire of agri-food processors and retailers to environmentally “greenwash” their corporate images in the eyes of the consumer. What they are really trying to buy for $20 is the trusted reputation farmers and ranchers have built up over generations. I’m sorry, but mine isn’t for sale and I won’t be participating in any such scheme.
Iain Aitken Belmont, Manitoba