The Abattoir Steering Committee enjoyed a boost of confidence during the fall fair in Emo last week after dozens of people stopped to voice their support at its booth in the Farm Progress Building.
Committee chairman Telford Advent said he was very impressed with the community’s show of support for the project—and pleased.
“It’s amazing the amount of people who signed up [at the booth],” he said, noting a book was set up at the booth to get signatures of support.
“Two full pages of people were interested in going ahead,” he added.
A sketched proposal of the abattoir, drawn to provincial standards, was on hand for fair-goers to look over but Advent noted the sketch wasn’t the kind of abattoir they were hoping to build.
“[The government] told us we should be building to federal standards,” he explained.
Building to federal specs has one major advantage over a provincially-inspected abattoir—namely, the ability to sell its products anywhere in Canada as opposed to just in Ontario.
Meat from animals slaughtered at federally-inspected abattoirs also can be exported into the United States and other countries.
Advent said the steering committee has someone looking into the difference in cost of building a federal abattoir compared to a provincial one. Once the committee gets solid numbers, he added public meetings will be held to gather and distribute information.
“There’s nothing worse than going to a meeting you can’t get answers to,” he said, noting the lack of solid numbers is the only reason the steering committee hasn’t held a public meeting yet.
Although everything is far from final on the status of the abattoir, the chance of a local kill plant re-establishing itself is looking more like a “yes" than a "maybe.”
“I’m sure it’s going ahead," Advent remarked. "I’m pretty optimistic.”