“It kind of shows you the state of where our provincial government’s priorities are at when they’re more interested in supporting a for-profit weed farm than investing in the future of our forests.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (10 Dec. 2018) — On December 5, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that the provincially owned Pineland Forest Nursery near Hadashville, which has grown reforestation seedlings for 65 years, will become a cannabis-growing operation when privatized in the new year.
Government sells out nursery to private weed growers
When the province announced in May that it was closing Pineland and selling the facility to the private sector, Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), said at the time that the government news release read “like a flyer for a liquidation sale,” with the Minister promoting the facility as the perfect opportunity for a large-scale marijuana grow-op.
“It kind of shows you the state of where our provincial government’s priorities are at when they’re more interested in supporting a for-profit weed farm than investing in the future of our forests,” said Gawronsky. “It’s kind of a double-whammy, isn’t it? We’re losing a very valuable public facility and now we know that facility won’t even be growing trees for our forests. It’s pretty clear this government will sell anything for a quick buck.”
Pineland Forest Nursery was part of a Manitoba Hydro project to lower emissions and heating bills
Consisting of 67 greenhouses on 7 acres, Pineland features eco-friendly equipment, including an expensive 8.5 million BTU biomass boiled fueled by wood pellets, which was part of a Manitoba Hydro demonstration project to lower emissions and heating bills at the facility.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press report, at least 3 prospective buyers toured the facilities over the summer, with the winning bid said to have come from Vancouver-based SwissReal Group, a commercial and residential real estate company.
Pineland, which employs 8 full-time and 17 part-time MGEU/NUPGE members (plus seasonal staff), has been operating in Hadashville since 1953.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE