During its public meeting Tuesday morning in Williams Lake, Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food members Rachna Singh, MLA Surrey Green Timbers (left), Donna Barnett Cariboo Chilcotin MLA, Nicholas Simons MLA Powell River-Sunshine Coast and Chair Ronna-Rae Leonard chat with Rodear Meats owner David Fernie (right) who was one of seven presenters. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Agriculture, food and fish committee hears from Cariboo Chilcotin

The Select Standing Committee held a public meeting Tuesday morning, hearing from seven presenters and one person from the floor

People have attended from far afield to make presentations to the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Food and Fish, said committee chair Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA Courtney-Comox at the close of the session in Williams Lake Tuesday.

“We have been getting to hear the flavour of different communities, which is important because we are getting to talk with people from rural and remote areas,” Leonard said. “The ability for us to get to those areas is limited.”

In Williams Lake the committee heard from seven presenters that had registered in advance and one from the floor.

“As one person said today, we all know about Alberta beef but how do we get the word out there about B.C. beef,” Leonard said. “Another person talked about growing our capacity so that we support the small scale meat sector in B.C.”

The committee heard from a sheep farmer who talked about the scale of lamb production in B.C.

“We heard from people who have Class A licences, and one man who spoke about how he has a fully-integrated system and basically he raises the livestock, he slaughters it, processes it and markets it, and has restaurants in the Lower Mainland and sells it to retailers as well as in the community where he has his farm.”

Read more: Select Standing Committee on agriculture, food and fish coming to Williams Lake

David Fernie, owner of Rodear Meats in the Cariboo, made a presentation to the committee.

“I talked about the inspection system and the merits and value of an inspection system on having healthy and disease-free meat for Canadians,” Fernie said, noting he re-opened his business in December of 2017.

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, also a member of the committee, said many people have concerns about the health of animals, abattoirs, slaughtering and the health of animals.

“Another big one is young people not getting into the market place,” Barnett said. “We need young people to go into the slaughtering and processing business, but there’s not enough training and there’s not enough year-round work.”

Barnett said there are many concerns and a few people with solutions, but there have to be measures taken so the industry isn’t killed.

“We are here to try and make local food more available but it has to be reasonable. It’s a very complex issue,” Barnett added.

Leonard said several themes have emerged through the various meetings.

“There are the challenge of rural and remote areas, where the question of getting inspections is challenging, and there are issues around animal welfare and travel,” she said.

The committee will travel to Castlegar, Cranbrook and Kamloops next and then submit a report to the government.

Just Posted

Community Living Month celebration will take place at the Long House

Community Living Month was first proclaimed by the province in 2002

Beyond the Blues raises mental health awareness

At TRU last Thursday Beyond the Blues was held, raising awareness about mental health and wellness.

Forest management post wildfires, focus of Federation of BC Woodlot Associations AGM

More than 100 foresters came out of the woods to meet for two days to discuss what needs to change moving forward

Celebrating small business in B.C.

“We care about small businesses and the people who own them, and we are committed to ensuring their viability and success,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.

Award-winning advocate Kamal Dhillon will be in Williams Lake Saturday for a book signing

Dhillon has been writing and teaching about domestic violence for eight years

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Most Read