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

Photos: Rugby hall of fame inductee imparts advice to Falcons players

Leslie Cripps represented Canada at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and was captain in 2010

Family and friends give heartwarming send off for Make A Wish recipient

Cancer survivor Lucie Bertoli off to Florida for a dream family vacation

IIO clears Williams Lake RCMP of wrongdoing in serious harm allegation

Independent Investigations Office of BC says injuries were not sustained during police custody

Cross country ski club hosting free family day at Bull Mountain trails

If you’ve ever wanted to give cross country skiing a try there’s no better time than this Saturday

Over 30 unique, diverse courses available at Elder College

The deadline to register for one of Elder College’s courses is fast approaching.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Man, 31, charged in Cache Creek fatal shooting

Corey Richard Harkness appeared on one count of murder in provincial court in Kamloops

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read