No response over meat regulations

Local politicians are still waiting for changes to the province’s meat processing regulations.

The Regional District of North Okanagan recently urged Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick to issue licenses so animals can be processed on farms.

“I don’t know what more we can do,” said Patrick Nicol, chairperson.

“We’ve been promised there will be a decision before Christmas and I hope that won’t be reneged on.”

RDNO wants the province to begin issuing class D and E meat inspection licences in the North Okanagan.

A class D licence allows for the on-farm slaughter of up to 25 animal units with one animal unit equaling 1,000 pounds liveweight. That would mean 25 cows, 2,500 chickens, 40 pigs and 300 lambs. A class E licence allows for the slaughter of up to 10 animal units.

The number of local producers has gone from 1,200 to 300 since the rules were initiated in 2007.

No quick action on grants

The Regional District of North Okanagan isn’t rushing to find a way to hand out money.

District staff have been instructed by the board to investigate options for funding grants to community organizations. But the earliest a system may be in place is 2014.

A workshop on the issue will likely be held some time in 2013.

“With the workload we have, we don’t have the time now,” said Trafford Hall, administrator, of the resource challenges currently facing staff.

A recent request for a grant to Vernon’s Upper Room Mission had to be sent to all individual jurisdictions to be considered because of the lack of a viable RDNO grants function.

Planning  process proceeds

Decisions will soon be made on land use activities in Greater Vernon’s electoral areas.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has approved spending up to $71,625 for a new official community plan for BX-Swan Lake and BX-Silver Star.

“The process will be done in-house and the money spent will be less than going to a consultant to do it,” said Bob Fleming, BX-Swan Lake director.

“Staff is well qualified to do this in a timely fashion,” added Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.



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