Full letter:

October 5, 2014
Dear Premier McNeil,

Before I get started in this letter please note that this household voted Liberal in the last election. We are also approve of your decision on FRACKING and the way you are trying to fix our health care system.

Below is a news item that appeared in the Sun News – Toronto. Just before the  support meeting that was held for Gordon Fraser in Pictou County we sent a protest letter to OUR MLA –Suzanne Lohnes- Croft and Minister Keith Colwell and your office and many other MLA’s in the province. Within four hours of our sending, we had responses from four MLA’s of support. One of them was Karla –Pictou West who immediately sent us a petition to circulate in the Lunenburg area and get it back to the meeting – which we did. It’s interesting to note that our own MLA never responded – also of the Liberal MLA’s that were invited to the meeting – none showed up!! Other MLA’s did. This leads us to believe the Liberal government could give a damn about agriculture in this province!

I did a little background check on Minister Colwell and apparently he has no experience in agriculture whatsoever!! He doesn’t have a clue! What is he doing in that job!?!? It’s obvious that he has a vendetta against SMALL agriculture in this province. Anyone that makes a statement like he did about possibly making it illegal to kill one’s own chickens in one’s own backyard is a FOOL! I would like to see that get enforced! The only line he comes out with is food safety and protecting the public – FEAR MONGERING – and he likes to use the term cross-contamination, beef – to poultry. The fact is there’s no such thing as cross-contamination – if EVERYTHING IS CLEAN! – Clean – what is that he doesn’t understand about the word clean?? It’s interesting to note that the TURKEY/POULTRY BOARD shut down two more SMALL operators after Gordon Fraser – all because of licensing. That makes four the last several months. None were closed because of sanitary conditions! In one of the cases a woman from the TURKEY/POULTRY BOARD actually used entrapment on one of the SMALL processers. If that was me I would be suing the TURKEY/POULTRY BOARD so fast their turkey feathers would be flying! I also asked the minister that we want to see documentation on how many people have been taken ill in the last 40 YEARS from eating Nova Scotia – beef, poultry and produce. I still have heard nothing which leads me to believe that there is no documentation which means THERE IS NO PROBLEM – or – the minister is still trying to dream something up!

LICENSING AND INSPECTING – you do remember a few years ago the closure for many weeks of one of the largest meatpacking plants in Western Canada because of contaminated beef – which by the way was discovered by the Americans and not us Canadians!!? You do remember the recall at Maple Leaf Products which closed them down for weeks because of contaminated meat? Last week an Italian sausage making company in Toronto had a recall of their contaminated sausage! How many times have meat products sold at Costco been recalled and also of all things, recalls of packaged salad greens at Sobeys and Loblaw – – all these places are LICENSED AND INSPECTED – – THAT’S WORKING WELL ISN’T IT??!! Keep in mind that this doesn’t bother the BIG companies with huge bank accounts and overpaid lawyers  – it’s just the cost of doing business – the customers soon forget. If this were to happen to one of our SMALL processers it would be devastating to them, so they take great care in keeping things CLEAN!! I am all for spot checks on these SMALL processers. If they are clean tell them to have a nice day let them do their work! Let’s face it – registering and licensing by the Turkey/Poultry Board is just a money grab – sanitary conditions have nothing to do with their agenda!!! And I have great suspicions that the BIG agricultural businesses, processers and BIG-NAME grocery chains have a strong lobby in Nova Scotia and they have the LIBERALS EAR!

In short – – there are thousands of Nova Scotians that are passionate about buying local products from our SMALL FARMS –  the province encourages SUPPORT LOCAL AGRICULTURE??  We consumers actually do it and don’t pay with lip service! After the Liberal government has shut down all these SMALL processers which is going to hurt SMALL Farms – would you mind telling us were we are going to buy our local produce, meats and poultry????  I don’t need to remind you that when all the farms a gone YOU and all of us just might go hungry or will be forced to buy food from unknown sources grown unknown locations and conditions??? If we consumers’ feared for our food safety, we would not purchase our food from these SMALL processors/farms. We resent being told by a government where we can and cannot buy our foods. We think it’s time to put Minister Keith Colwell out to pasture and also the Turkey/Poultry Board!  PLEASE – fix this – it could be the Liberal party – YARMOUTH FERRY MOMENT.

May I suggest a new book you might enjoy? MERGING by Soren Bondrup – Nielsen. He lives in Port Williams Nova Scotia and is head of the biology department at Arcadia University – an excellent read!

Yours truly,

Richard and Sharon Orpin – retired farmers

320 Kissing Bridge Road

Lunenburg Nova Scotia