Just Let This End Already…

Posted: October 21, 2010 in local, news

So if you live in Outlook or anywhere near there, the big agriculture issue right now, and has been for the last five months is this whole Namaka Farms feedlot proposal. In a nutshell, the Thiessen family has gone to the RM of Rudy and proposed a vision for a feedlot operation to eventually house up to 36,000 head of cattle. There are those for it and those against it, and two public meetings were held over two back-to-back Thursday nights in June.

Now, the RM is reaching their decision and will hold one last public event tonight in the Outlook court room. There really is no official word on what is going down in this meeting, but it’s being said that the RM councilors will either be voting or have already reached a decision on the proposal and will simply announce it.

Whatever the case, I won’t be attending the meeting. For one, my brother and I have tickets to see a comedy show up in Saskatoon tonight (Ricky, Julian and Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys! FTW!), but secondly I put a lot of my own personal time into my job as a reporter, and I think I deserve to go out and have some fun and be off the clock, for a change. My buddy Tim, a co-worker and also a great writer is filling in for me.

However, I did attend last night’s meeting, which was a closed door affair held by the RM in their council chambers. This served as a last-minute forum for those with views or concerns to share them with the RM councilors.

Probably the most significant pieces of news to come out of the meeting is the fact that people opposed to Namaka’s idea put together a petition and went out gathering signatures. They reportedly received over 300 names and the results of their findings were as follows:

– 60% against the feedlot
– 10% for it
– 30% disinterested and/or having no opinion

What was interesting to hear is that some people reportedly told these petition carriers that they were told to refrain from sharing their position or views on the proposal.

But what I find particularly interesting when it comes to these signatures is that a number of them are from people who don’t live or pay taxes in the RM of Rudy. Just this past Monday night, people were knocking on my door and I live in Conquest, which is in the RM of Fertile Valley. We don’t get our drinking water from anywhere near this proposed feedlot site, so in that sense aren’t affected at all when it comes to any potential harm. How much weight can this list of over 300 names even carry if some of the signatures are from people looking in from the outside?

Wherever people sit on the fence with this issue, I think it’s safe to say that they’ll be glad when all this debating, arguing and finger pointing is over so the RM can make their official decision.

In the meantime, here’s the link to a groovy little piece of audio. I appeared on NewsTalk 650 radio this morning to discuss last night’s meeting and just some general points about the feedlot proposal with show host, Brent Loucks. In truth, I wish I wasn’t so nervous but I don’t think I was horrible. I had two pages of notes in front of me and was ready to read some of them off, but it just sounded like Brent wanted to hit on some general feedback points, which was cool with me.

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