Province’s agriculture minister talks about Bill 156

A no trespassing sign. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle.)

The Provincial Government has made it an offence to stop, obstruct, hinder or otherwise interfere with a motor vehicle transporting farm animals.

On Monday, the province proclaimed four sections of Bill 156, the Security from Trespass and Protecting Food Safety Act, which they say ensures the safety and security of the public and the provincial food supply while protecting the right for people to participate in lawful protests on public property.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman tells CKNX “It’s important to recognize this bill, the part we’re proclaiming on the transportation, in no way takes away any rights from anyone to protest on public property on whatever cause they feel appropriate, but it does prevent them from illegally entering other people’s property, putting the family and the operation at risk”.

Earlier this year, over 100 municipalities passed or supposed council resolutions calling on the government to strengthen protections for farm families, employees and animals, with OMAFRA launching consultations on the remaining parts of the act until October 15th.

Minister Hardeman notes they are “looking for input from the public and the industry on proposed regulatory provisions so that the act achieves its goal of protecting the food supply, the welfare of farm animals, and the safety of agri-food workers who help fee us all”.