Pineland to Grow Private Weed Instead of Public Trees
“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
Dec 06, 2018
Today 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.
When the province announced in May that it was closing Pineland and selling the facility to the private sector, MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky 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-up.
“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 after reading today’s headline. “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.”
Consisting of 67 greenhouses on seven acres, Pineland features eco-friendly equipment, including an expensive 8.5-million BTU wood-pellet fueled boiler, which was part of a Manitoba Hydro demonstration project to lower emissions and heating bills at the facility.
According to the Free Press report, at least three 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 eight full-time and 17 part-time MGEU members (plus seasonal staff), has been operating in Hadashville since 1953.