B.C. ordered to produce documents around the end of mink farming
The Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver.
The B.C. Supreme Court, in a decision posted on its website Thursday, gives the province 30 days to file an affidavit, or sworn statement, with the “direct” or “indirect” information that pushed the government to close mink farms. Breeders' associations continue to fight against this decision.
I have come to the conclusion that respondents should be required to produce, to the extent that they have not already released, the documents in their possession, wrote Supreme Court Justice Warren Milman.
The announcement of the gradual ban on mink farms was made in November 2021 by the Ministry of Agriculture, which explained that farms housing live mink would be banned by April 2023 and that the industry would gradually disappear in 2025.
The authorities had then justified their decision because of the numerous outbreaks of COVID-19 in farms at the height of the pandemic. The Canadian Mink Breeders' Association then responded with a judicial review, arguing that the province decided to ban the industry without properly understanding the health risks posed by mink farms.
< p class="e-p">The association considers that British Columbia undermines international and interprovincial trade, and considers the decision unreasonable. She asked that a number of documents that contributed to the government's decision, between October 18 and November 24, 2021, be produced.
Some documents have already been releases, including a confidential memo outlining why Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bonnie Henry believed these farms may pose public health risks.
But the he association considers that certain documents are still missing, in particular notes from ministries. The government counters that certain documents were withheld because they are confidential information subject to cabinet privilege and that revealing certain documents would impact the public interest.
With information from The Canadian Press