Pot odours nor­mal prac­tice?

The Niagara Falls Review - - Opinion -


I read with in­ter­est the ar­ti­cle about cannabis odour by Luke Ed­wards.

One im­por­tant word was left out of this sen­tence: “So in an at­tempt to ad­dress the odour con­cerns of those fa­cil­i­ties, coun­cil­lors have also asked staff to work with other agen­cies, such as the On­tario Min­istry of Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs ...”

The full acro­nym for the min­istry is OMAFRA, and that first A stands for agri­cul­ture and that rhymes (or not) with farms and stands for farm­ers.

If any of the folks re­spon­si­ble for those smells are op­er­at­ing on prop­erty that is zoned agri­cul­tural and they are sell­ing at least $7,000 worth of crop per year (hard not to with that type of crop, I’d think), then grow­ers are of­fi­cially farm­ers and they are pro­tected by the Farm­ing and Food Pro­duc­tion Pro­tec­tion Act of On­tario. And in turn that means they are al­lowed to cre­ate as much “noise, odour, vi­bra­tion, light, flies, smoke and dust” as is gen­er­ated by any “nor­mal farm prac­tice.”

And the worst part is, “No mu­nic­i­pal by­law ap­plies to re­strict a nor­mal farm prac­tice car­ried on as a part of an agri­cul­tural op­er­a­tion.”

What is a nor­mal farm prac­tice? Ba­si­cally it’s al­most any ac­tiv­ity per­formed by two or more farm­ers who have de­cided to do any­thing that gen­er­ates the afore­men­tioned nui­sances in pur­suit of gen­er­at­ing a profit from their farm­ing op­er­a­tion. Who de­cides what a nor­mal farm prac­tice is? That’s the role of the Nor­mal Farm Prac­tices Re­view Board. And that’s a group of farm­ers. I do wish the non-farm­ers luck. I and many oth­ers are in­volved in a sim­i­lar fight to get grape grow­ers to turn off bird can­nons that also dis­turb non­farm­ers. But that’s an­other story.

Michael Scott

St. Catharines

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