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The city council for Windsor, Ontario announced this week that it is investing $8 million of tax-payer money into a turkey-carcass packaging plant – despite significant protest from locals.
Operator Belwood’s plant – which will be based in an existing building in central Windsor – will become operational later this year.
Speaking about the plant at a meeting, Company Rep Ben Schlegal pushed a narrative of economic gain and collective benefit, saying: “What we’re excited about is investing in the community and creating jobs for the short and long term.”
However, according to residents and activists, the picture painted by Belwood Poultry omits key details.
‘At what cost?’
Activist Varun Joshi delivered a comprehensive explanation of the potential psychological effects on workers – citing higher rates of crime and substance abuse in areas with slaughterhouses, and concerns of similar effects for plant employees.
Also concerned with side effects, animal activist Naina Otiv highlighted risks of salmonella and other health issues for residents and workers.
She said: “It’s not something we should be taking lightly.”
Direct Action Everywhere member Nicole Rivers told meeting attendees unnecessary environmental destruction is imminent.
“Construction of the plant may create a few jobs – but at what cost?”