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Ontario family faces farmland expropriation
Ontario family faces farmland expropriation

A local board wants to build a high school in the middle of the family’s operation

By Kaitlynn Anderson
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A farming family from Milton, Ont., is concerned about the future of its beef operation.

Recently, the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) notified the McCann family that it will expropriate nearly 20 acres of their land to build a secondary school, David McCann, owner of the cow-calf operation, told Farms.com today.

The HCDSB plans to construct the school next to the McCann’s feeding barn, which is located in the centre of the operation.

This placement could be hazardous for both the family and the students.

“If you get 1,400 high school kids, they’re going to be curious,” McCann said. “They could walk out there and jump the fence. Kids could be hurt or killed.”

The school’s location would also ignore minimum distance separation requirements, he said.

“The requirements are there for a reason, but they’re just choosing to ignore them – somebody could get hurt.”

Overall, the McCanns are concerned that they could lose their land, which the family has owned since 1827. In fact, McCann’s daughter, Jessica, will be the seventh generation to work on the land.

The area has become a hotspot for development.

“We’re the last farm in this area,” McCann said. “Developers own 2,300 acres surrounding our farm. This is the only privately owned section of land.”

The family is worried about the future of their operation.

The school board has “thrown lots of money at us, but we’re not interested in the money,” McCann said.

Rather, McCann, who is also undergoing chemotherapy treatments, wants to continue to farm.

“I want to finish out my time here. I don’t want to give it up.”

Jessica McCann, who is also an agriculture student at the University of Guelph, started a petition yesterday on change.org. To sign it, click here.

 


Getty Images photo