Bill Massey is a retired School Principal who has farmed all his life. He and his wife Dorothy operate a small farm near Grosse Isle Manitoba. Community activist, Bill Massey, has published a book that reveals governmental incompetence and collusion, Of Pork & Potatoes. His struggles with trying to right the wrongs he and others have experienced living near a hog barn, led Bill to become active with Hog Watch Manitoba in 2019.
Massey’s Of Pork & Potatoes, produced by FriesenPress, tells the story of a small community’s struggle to deal with an illegal hog barn expansion on a nearby colony. Manitoba claims to have the toughest regulations governing the hog industry but the reality is far different. Massey leads the reader to a growing realization of an industry that negatively affects the quality of people that live around it and causes serious concerns ethically and environmentally province wide. Massey tells of his troubled growing up years that have prepared him uniquely to lead his community in this struggle. A small farmer who raises pigs himself, Massey brings the insights of a lifetime to his narrative. Of Pork & Potatoes is a must for people concerned for the environment and inspired by stories of perseverance and commitment.
Vicki Burns has devoted much of her adult life to fighting injustice whether it be for humans or animals. After joining the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1994, Vicki became aware of the terrible injustices in the treatment of animals raised for food and that lead to her becoming part of a newly formed coalition, Hog Watch Manitoba, whose goal was to promote an environmentally, ethically and economically sustainable hog industry. Members of the coalition included farmers, animal welfare advocates, scientists, rural residents and members of the general public who took exception to all the threats of industrialized animal production, not the least of which was the suffering of the animals.
After leaving the Humane Society in 2008, Vicki became involved in work to protect and restore the health of Lake Winnipeg. The toxic blue-green algae blooms (many of which contain toxins) are a threat every year. The connection between the state of the lake and Manitoba’s hog industry is a troubling one and Vicki has worked to bring awareness and change in this area.
Vicki is currently on the Steering Committee For Hog Watch Manitoba.
Living on the solar powered co-op forest farm I helped found in 1984, has nourished my sense of joyful responsibility to promote health and problem solve in agriculture, protecting soil, water, and biodiversity as an organic inspector and consultant. I train extensively with the International Organic Inspectors Assoc. (IOIA) accredited in 3 scopes since 1995, I remain a life long learner having studied Human Ecology at the U of Manitoba, and Psychology at the U of Winnipeg in my youth.
Via Creative Health Consulting (1985), helping to write the Canadian Organic Standard, stressing IFOAM crop, livestock and processing principles, serving IOIA as current President (Trainer & Peer Evaluator), past national president Canadian Organic Growers, past president Manitoba (MB) Organic Alliance; while representing MB on the Organic Federation of Canada board and on the Canadian Organic Standards Technical Committee since 1998.
A proud mother of adult children, Arel (Troy) and Andrew (Molly), and grandmother to Saige (Quinn), my commitment to organic agriculture reflects my values of addressing environmental, social and economic justice.
Janine was elected leader of the Green Party of Manitoba on March 26, 2023. She is a seasoned Green candidate having run in several elections, both provincially and federally for the Green Party, and these experiences will be invaluable in furthering the goals of the Green Party and Hog Watch Manitoba.
In 2014 my wife and I purchased a 4 acre rural home by a bend in the lovely Whitemouth river.
We were both approaching retirement age and I wanted to prepare the property for when we move to the country. We rejected many properties our agent has shown us because so many visually lovely sites were badly affected by odours from confined animal operations. When we finally found a home and completed our purchase we were very happy. The house needed work and had no shop but the price was very good and the location was excellent. An architect produced engineered drawings for some major improvements. Local contractors provided many supplies and services. Everything was going slowly but on budget and good quality. I retired to focus on the work and my wife continued her teaching job.
It was a good four years into the project when noxious odours started drifting over from the adjacent property. There had been just a few derelict buildings surrounded by trees and about 60 acres of crops. No one lived there. I was shocked to find that a liquid manure confined hog operation had reopened after being closed for at least five years. It was just 200 meters from the barn to my house! Whenever the wind blew from the north the smell was awful. A disgusting urine smell that pooled and flowed along the ground. I also learned that a similar operation was only 600 meters away just west of my house.
The extra 400 meters made a huge difference. After making inquiries and following the complaint procedures I quickly learned what so many have when faced with this situation. You have zero human rights to enjoy your property and breath fresh air. There is no one on any level of government who will help you. The hog industry is gigantic in Manitoba and it writes it’s own legislation and enforces it mercilessly. Heaven help anyone with opposes it. Except Hog Watch Manitoba – a very small but sturdy group of heroes from all over the province. Authentic farmers, environmentalists, scientists, animal activists and anyone with a conscience and the courage to stand up to bullies. Plus one retired banker who is very grateful that there is a path for change. Thanks Hog Watch Manitoba!!! Brent Bjorklund