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Thread: The cost of defending normal farm practices...where's the justice in that?

  1. #1
    Dennis Lapierre
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    The cost of defending normal farm practices...where's the justice in that?

    If you've looked at the Homepage, you'll see that it cost the Furgusons, at Dragonfly Farm near Duncan BC nearly $25,000.00 to defend against a complaint by a neighbor of his farm practices. These were ruled as "normal" farm practices.
    This is a terrible financial hit to any farm, let alone a small mixed farm.
    It is also a matter that anyone who farms adjacent to non-farmers could easily have to face.
    What are your views on this matter?

  2. #2
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    I was surprised to see that Dan Ferguson had such a large legal bill, since one purpose of the FIRB is to provide a process that minimizes the cost of the complaint to the farmer. According to the FIRB website "Where possible, BCFIRB promotes dispute resolution without the need for formal panel hearings. For farmers, neighbours, local governments, and the public, BCFIRB is an impartial body that can determine whether a farmer follows “normal farm practices.” BCFIRB adheres to the principles of natural justice and administrative law in this quasi-judicial role. In determining "normal farm practices", refer to the March 2002 decision of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in the District of Saanich vs. Peter Kimoff." I always wondered who Peter Kimoff was, and why that particular case was on the website. Peter Kimoff was a Saanich farmer who put the name of his farm, in very large letters, on a water tower so that people driving down the highway could see where his farm business was located. The District of Saanich claimed Peter was violating signage bylaws; Peter Kimoff declared that having a prominent sign was a normal farm practice. The dispute went on for quite some time, and when it was suggested that the case should go before the FIRB (perhaps the board was newly formed at that time), Saanich backed off.

  3. #3
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    a fundraiser has been organized for this weekend on Dragonfly farm. Please read on - and if you are not able to join them for a burger and dance, please consider supporting them in any way you can:



    What: Fundraiser Party for Dan Ferguson of Dragonfly Farm, to recoup legal costs of “Right to Farm” case.

    Who: everyone is invited!

    Where: Dragonfly Farm, 4064 Vaux Road, Glenora. (near Duncan) 250-746-3970. Spinach2u@shaw.ca

    When: September 11th, Grill gets cooking at 5:00, by donation, live Entertianment kicks off at 6:00 pm with Dave Cambell Band, followed by Thor and the Thundercats.

    Tickets $35 for adults, $15 for kids.



    Dragonfly Farm is a typical Cowichan Valley farm – a small, integrated, family run farm, growing salad greens and raising poultry. Unfortunately, a complaint against Dan Ferguson was launched by their neighbours, Dan Feehan and Michelle Connerly, claiming that the Ferguson guinea fowl and other farm animals were making it impossible for them to enjoy their adjacent property (also on Agricultural Land Reserve) in peace. The issue wound up being addressed in a hearing with the Farm Industry Review Board. The process “ has taken a toll on our family, emotionally, but most recently financially," Dan Ferguson said, estimating about $38,000 in legal bills. Much of the community came out to stand behind Dan at the hearing in August; we now have the opportunity to show our support by attending a fundraising party at Dragonfly Farm. Dinner will get cooking on the grill at 5:00 pm (by donation), and the live musical entertainment runs from 6:00 to 11:00 pm, tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for kids. We are being promised quite the rocking good time with the Dave Campbell band followed by Thor and the Thundercats.

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