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Alberta’s Bill 36
explained

The Western Stock Growers Association is sponsoring a series
of seminars in Alberta in January to explain to landowners, what it sees is the
potential impact of three new pieces of legislation including Bill 36, the
proposed Alberta Land Stewardship Act.

In a news release: “WSGA President, Bill Hanson describes the aforementioned three bills as

“an extreme attack on Albertan’s property rights and in particular, rural
Alberta”.  Bill 36 gives the Lieutenant
Governor in Council authority to direct the development of, and subsequently
approve, regional plans as legally binding documents under the Act. It also
outlines what must be included in regional plans and what may be included to
respond to regional needs while allowing the appointment of regional advisory
councils to provide advice to government on developing regional plans.

According
to the Government of Alberta website, the Act also requires provincial
departments, regulatory agencies, municipalities and other local government
authorities to align their decisions, plans and bylaws with regional plans.
Essentially, this gives the Alberta government power through new regional plans
to amend or extinguish a statutory consent which includes everything from a
land title to a grazing lease, mineral lease, feedlot licence or a water
licence. Hanson concludes, “The worst aspect of this is that compensation is

not provided when land is taken or rezoned and there is no ability to appeal
the land planning decisions in court”.

Agriculture
lawyer Keith Wilson is making a presentation at the seminars, which started
Jan. 10. The final four will be held January 17 at the Nisku Inn in Leduc,
starting at 7 p.m.; January 24 in Viking at the Viking Community Hall, starting
at 7 p.m.; January 25 at the Castor Hall in Castor, starting at 1:30 p.m. and
January 25 at the Trochu Community Hall in Trochu at 7 p.m.

Just plan
to attend, or if you need more information contact the WSGA office at
403-250-9121.

Reminder on marketing courses

 There
are some excellent grain marketing courses coming up in Alberta in January

through to early March. These are four and six day courses led by crop
marketing specialists Lee Mevill, Neil Blue and David Wong sponsored by the
Alberta Canola Producers Commission. Cost is $500, but that includes lunches.
For details go to the Alberta Canola Producers website at www.canola.ab.ca or
phone 1-800-551-6652.

Course locations include: La Corey, (northeast Alberta) Jan.
17 to 31; Vulcan (southern Alberta) Jan. 19 to Feb.17; Manning (Peace River
region) Feb. 7 to 11; Pine Lake (near Red Deer) Feb. 14 to 17; and Drumheller,
(just northeast of Calgary) Feb. 14 to March 3.

 Charolais breeder
disciplined

(This is a report from
the Regina Leader Post)

REGINA — An Alberta
exhibitor has been barred from participating in the Canadian Western Agribition
for three years after an incident at the 2010 show.

Agribition chief
executive Jason Pollock said the decision, made by an internal disciplinary
committee, hinged on an exhibitor’s decision to show an animal that appeared to
be in distress. The Charolais cow later died.

“If there’s any
question or doubt that acceptable standards of safety and animal welfare have
not been met, we reserve the right to ban any person or persons who fail to
conform with that. This decision was based on eyewitness accounts and letters
of complaint received regarding the health and visible distress of the animal
prior to the exhibitor’s decision to take her into the show ring,” Pollock
said.

“The reason for
that distress we have no idea, but the fact of the matter is that the animal
was in distress and she shouldn’t have been in the show ring. She should have
been in the care of a veterinarian at that point.”

Prairie Cove Charolais,
which is named in the suspension, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The
suspension covers the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Agribition shows and future
participation will be on a probationary basis, Pollock said. It’s the most
severe disciplinary action Agribition has taken against an exhibitor.

The autopsy ruled out
the possibility of an animal health issue that could have been contagious to
other animals.

But there was no
definitive conclusion on the cause of death, Pollock said.

Following the incident
in late November there were allegations in the media that someone had pumped
the cow with soda pop to make it appear rounder.

Agribition has no
evidence to prove or disprove such a theory, Pollock noted.

But such a practice
would not be considered permissible, he said.

The Canadian Charolais
Association is looking at its own show guidelines in the wake of the incident
and the speculation around what may have transpired, general manager Neil
Gillies said in an interview earlier this month. The guidelines don’t
specifically mention anything about administering a fluid, he said.

“I’ve been around
the game a long time and I haven’t seen it being done, but I’m certainly not
saying it hasn’t been,” Gillies said.

“Basically we’re
going to try and update our show guidelines to try and cover off some of the
things that may occur,” he said.

CBEF/BIC
reorganization unveiled

At a Calgary news conference last week, plans were unveiled
for the creation of a new beef marketing agency or structure, that would bring
the Canadian Beef Export Federation, Beef Information Centre and the National
Check-off Agency under one administrative roof.

The concept has been discussed for sometime and there
have been previous studies looking at the impact or benefits of putting the
three relatively independent agencies under the umbrella of a single agency to
be called Canada Beef.

The most recent study has recommended the
reorganization, as Brad Wildeman, co-chair of the Canada Beef Working Group
explains to improve overall efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing
effort and the plan will also save about $1.3 million annually. There are
expected to be some administration savings, as well as the elimination of about
12 jobs among the three agencies.

The annual budget to operate CBEF, BIC and National
Checkoff Agency is currently about $22.5 million. They receive about $5.5
million in producer funding through the national checkoff program, and the rest
of the budget comes from government grants.

You can read more about this proposed reorganization
in upcoming issues of the prairie ag media. Of course, there is an excellent
report in the January 24 issue of Cattleman’s Corner in Grainews; Gren Winslow
of Canadian Cattleman Magazine will have a report; Will Verboven of Alberta
Farmer Express will no doubt have something to say about all this; Bonnie
Warnyka of Alberta Beef is covering this story as well; Barb Glen of The
Western Producer will have a full report, and there will likely be others. So
you will have no excuse to say “I never heard anything about it.”

This may not be a life-changing story as far as your
day-to-day beef operation is concerned, but it shows the best efforts are being
made to make use of checkoff dollars.

Lee
Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at
[email protected]

 

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About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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