Manitoba’s Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan has introduced amendments to the Buildings and Mobile Homes Act which would require farm buildings to be designed and constructed to meet building codes.
“Currently, there is no legislation requiring these types of structures be constructed in accordance with building codes throughout the province,” said Allan. “Fires on farms pose a special threat because they are widely dispersed geographically and difficult to respond to in the event of an emergency.”
Over the past few years, there has been a notable increase in large losses of farm buildings that are used specifically for the production of agricultural commodities. These include hog, dairy, poultry, and vegetable production.
Allan said amending the legislation would allow for the development of Manitoba building code regulations for new farm buildings over a specific size. A consultation process would be implemented to allow all stakeholders input into the development of the regulations.
“The Manitoba government believes requiring minimum construction standards for farm buildings is in the best interest of the many stakeholders in the agricultural economy,” said Allan. “It will also provide greater consistency of building standards throughout the province and will create a more level playing field for the design and construction industry.”
The minister said the government has heard from key stakeholders in the agricultural industry in recent years who are concerned the lack of building codes on farm buildings. She said a common thread has been the risk to the lives and safety of farm workers, emergency services personnel and livestock due to the non-regulation of farm buildings.