Opposition to the expansion of pigs in Bethany

Pierre Grenon is one of the residents who oppose this expansion, which could double the number of animals in pigs.

Mr. Greennon regrets that the community was not notified of the project prior to it being submitted for evaluation by the Ministry of the Environment. they [Olymel] Negotiate it with the Ministry of Environment, and then be at home swearing.

Residents are mainly concerned that too much water will be pumped by the barn, which could affect the supply of other producers in the area.

Last summer, many of them already ran out of water. Last year we had to dig three different wells to get some water exclaims Citizen Lucy Perry, she met on her farm.

Michel Cotier in front of a road in Bethany.

Bethany Mayor, Michel Cotier.

Photo: Radio Canada/Thomas Deshais

I wouldn’t say everyone ran out of water, but everyone knows someone who ran out of water. »

Quote from Michel Coty, Mayor of Bethany

Request a moratorium

Mayor of Bethany Michel Cote calls for the intervention of the Quebec government in the file.

He is requesting that the expansion project be suspended to allow the municipality to properly assess the potential impacts of the project. We should take a long time to do a study [sur l’eau] Based on what we have been through,” says Mr. Cote. Not having all the information at the moment, this worries residents.

This mobilization is part of a context in which climate change appears to have a very real impact on the watershed lands of the Yamasca River.

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The director of de bassin versant de la Yamaska, Alex Martin, notes that there are more and more droughts in the region. He adds that there are periods of heavy rain. When the water falls quickly, it quickly trickles downstream and is dumped away. There is less time to recharge [de la nappe phréatique]. This is what worries ushe explains.

Alex Martin smiling outside.

Alex Martin is the Managing Director of the Yamaska ​​Watershed Organization.

Photo: Radio Canada/Thomas Deshais

Olmel responds

When asked about the effects of her project on the water, Olmel replied that she had a hydrological study on hand and confirmed that she did not want to harm the neighborhood.

Olimel spokesman Richard Vignault insists we want to do things right. You have to make sure everything is done according to all parties, with all current regulations, and that’s what Olmeel will do.

We want to do this with a very high social acceptance project. »

Quote from Richard Vignot, Official Spokesperson for Olmel

Olmel also denies that she was late in informing the municipality of her intentions to expand the pig pens in Petani. This has been reported to the previous municipal administration, and then a change has occurred at the municipal level since the last elections last fall. Mr. Vigneault points out.

The mayor replies that this is a mistake. I was part of the previous administration and I can tell you we’ve never heard of a project recalls Mr. Côté.

When Olmel’s spokesman was asked to explain his position, he replied that there are There may have been a communication failure . But one thing is for sure, our intention is to have as much openness as possible to the authorities of Bethany he adds.

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An invitation to deep thought

In a letter to the provincial government, the mayor of Bethany called on Quebec to take a break before continuing to commission major agricultural projects.

This can pass by thinking about Quebec’s food autonomy, which should take precedence over the export of products that are, in fact, the disguised export of our essential agricultural resources. mentioned in his letter.

The Minister of Agriculture, Andre Lamontani, stated in an interview that many projects are not aimed at increasing production. For several years, pork production in Quebec has been fairly neutral. What happens is that there is an important alternative (for facilities) to the issue of animal welfare, to improve environmental performance He says.

As for the opposition to the Olimel project, Minister Lamontane assures that he is listening to the citizens. I have someone here in the office in contact with the municipality about every week, and I understand their concerns very well. Mentionsed.

There is a strict process in the environment department. This project should really be done according to the rules of art. »

Quote from André Lamontani, Minister of Agriculture

However, the minister did not undertake to comply with the request for a moratorium. In fact, what the municipality wants is to be reassured on the water issue. He answers when asked about the topic.

Olmel has not revealed a timeline for the completion of her project, but she promises to meet the community soon.

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