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By Tom VanDusen - AgriNews Staff Writer

Could it be? Could the Ontario agricultural community finally be vindicated? Ever since the details became known, the community has collectively taken the rap for the Walkerton E. Coli fiasco.

Now the bungling brothers who really caused the disaster have been criminally charged. Hopefully, that action will take the misplaced heat off farming and put it right where it belongs.

Early in the Walkerton aftermath, it didn't seem to matter that there was no evidence of any kind fingering farming as the culprit. It didn't even seem to matter later on when the Walkerton inquiry determined that the farmer undertaking normal, legitimate agricultural practices around the killer Walkerton well had done everything by the book.

Politicians, professional environmentalists, urban instigators... all of them decided manure spreading was to blame, more specifically so-called intensive farming even though none was happening in the immediate vicinity.

Lines like this one from a Sierra Club of Canada press release in reference to projects planned in Nation Township became commonplace: "We know that if something isn't done to stop mega hog barns, we will be the next Walkerton."

Actually, the criminal truth is that if something isn't done to stop utilities managers from drinking on the job, conducting little to no monitoring, and ignoring glaring test results, there'll be another Walkerton.



Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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