Failure of Pineland Privatization Scheme Revealed
"...there have been no jobs for Hadashville, nothing has filled that void, and we’re back to square one with a site that’s been sitting empty and should have been growing trees this entire time to regenerate our forests.” -- MGEU President, Kyle Ross
Oct 29, 2021
A failed privatization scheme by the Manitoba PC government has left the former Pineland Forest Nursery in Hadashville sitting empty with unfilled promises of providing an economic boost to the region.
In 2019, the Province announced it was selling the site to Botanist Organic Growers Corp. (BOGC), which had plans to turn it into a CBD oil production facility. Instead of serving as a new economic driver for the region, it’s been a heartbreaking reminder of the failed promises of privatization, as the shuttered facility has sat unused for years.
Recently, rumours began to circulate on social media which confirmed what many in town had suspected for a long time: the plan to build a CBD oil production facility at Pineland had fallen through.
When media reached out to Agricultural and Resource Development Minister, Ralph Eichler, for comment, the province provided a statement this week that said the lease with BOGC was terminated effective September 28 "with BOGC owing $500,000.”
However, the government did not provide an explanation about how the project went so badly off track or what the future now holds for the site.
MGEU President, Kyle Ross, says it’s another example of a botched privatization scheme by this government.
“We had a facility, which provided an important specialized public service for many years, and then the Pallister government eliminated it and promised great economic opportunities from privatization. Instead, there have been no jobs for Hadashville, nothing has filled that void, and we’re back to square one with a site that’s been sitting empty and should have been growing trees this entire time to regenerate our forests.”
In 2018, the MGEU started a petition against privatizing the Pineland Forest Nursery and hand-delivered over 1,500 signatures from Manitobans who were against the Pallister government’s decision. Instead of listening to constituents’ concerns, the government released their privatization plan in February 2019 to sell the facility to BC-based BOGC for $1.43 million.
Before the failed "sale", the nursery employed
about 25 people. For a community as small as Hadashville, the closure has
translated into a significant economic loss for the region.