No smelly surprise please: Canada farmers asked to skip manure at G7 summit
Canadian farmers in the Quebec region of Charlevoix, where G7 leaders are scheduled to meet next week, have been asked to avoid spreading manure on their fields ahead of the summit.
The aim is to make a good impression — in order to boost tourism — on Canada’s G7 guests and not expose the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States to unpleasant odors.
But local lawmakers are making a stink on behalf of farmers.
“We ask for your cooperation so that the stay of our guests on our province is as pleasant as possible,” said a letter sent by Quebec’s agriculture ministry to the local farming association, seen by AFP Friday.
A long winter meant farmers could not access their fields until last week — later than usual — to start preparing the ground for seeding.
They are now being asked not to spread manure from June 1 to 9.
“Asking farmers to stop their operations puts their crops at risks,” Andre Villeneuve, a member of a Quebec opposition party, told the provincial legislature on Thursday.
Quebec’s agriculture minister, Laurent Lessard, shot back that the G7 presented a tremendous opportunity to showcase the region to the leaders and journalists from around the world covering the June 8-9 summit.
It’s “an extraordinary opportunity to present Quebec products,” he said.