DISTRICT 1, REGION 1 NEWSLETTER
April 6, 2022
TO THE MEMBERSHIP OF DISTRICT 1, REGION 1:
District Convention - This year, our annual District Convention will take place at the Milton Community Hall in North Milton on Wednesday, April 20. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting itself starting at 10:00 a.m. The cost of registration is $20 per person which will include the cost of a meal at noon. If a family requires child care in order to attend the meeting, assistance with the cost is available. Please call Edith Ling at 902-368-1262 about this. As well as the usual reports, resolutions will be considered during the day and elections held for the positions of District Director, Women's District Director and Youth Director for the coming NFU year. If you have a resolution to be considered, please contact the Resolutions Committee Chairman, Gordon Carter at 902-368-2762.
At the time of writing this newsletter, it has been confirmed that Ian Petrie, a well-known agricultural journalist is a guest speaker. He will speak on the Lands Protection Act as well as other land issues. As well, Sheila Forsyth, an environmental consultant and educator will address the gathering. Attempts are being made to have someone from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency speak as well as someone who is familiar with the Government's Net Zero climate action plan particularly as it pertains to agriculture.
I hope you all will make every effort to attend as this is one of several occasions where policy for the National Farmers Union is developed - from the grass roots. Associate members are welcome and encouraged to attend and participate in the discussions.
Collective Bargaining Agreement for Fuel, Oil, Lubricants and Propane - Recently the NFU Collective Bargaining Committee met with Island Petroleum to discuss a rebate program for NFU members (Associate members can participate too). This deal will involve the same discount at the time of bulk delivery as last year's agreement. It is very important that Island Petroleum knows that you are a member of the National Farmers Union so be sure they do. If proof is required on their part, please present your membership card (or a letter from the District certifying that you are a member). A rebate on propane is a relatively new addition to the agreement so it would be well worthwhile checking into.
Potatoes and the Border Closure - It was good to see the border re-opened last week for the shipment of table stock potatoes to the U.S. However, this is of little help to the seed potato producers in this province who cannot ship seed to the U.S. or even to other provinces in
Canada. This is a critical situation for these farm families. For some time now, it has been apparent that the large potato processor in this Province (Cavendish Farms - Irvings) have wanted to see this province become a potato processing province only. As we have watched the steps being taken (and not being taken), it is easy to see that this plan is more and more coming into fruition. We have to remember that Irving has its own potato variety development business, and they may even have growers throughout the province who produce seed for them.
What is mind boggling is why the fields involved in potato wart back in 2000 and in several years since have not been planted out in trees and so taken out of production entirely. Just five years after infection, Irvings were allowed to plant Russet Burbank potatoes in these fields - a variety which is highly susceptible to potato wart. The question has been asked "who signed off to allow this to happen and why were the trees not planted even though the Agriculture Minister of the day, Mitch Murphy said they would be". To date these questions remain unanswered. What we need is a potato wart eradication plan, not a management plan - and Irvings should not be involved in the development of such a plan.
The P. E. I. Government is in charge of land protection in this province but has been negligent in its duty to see that the provisions of the Lands Protection Act are upheld instead of allowing the Irving corporation and their ilk to buy up more land than they should be able to own according to the spirit and intent of the Lands Protection Act. When the Lands Protection Act came into existence in 1982, Irvings were supposed to own only ten acres for test plot purposes. In subsequent years, they were allowed to buy up more and more land until several years after the Act was proclaimed they were ordered to divest of the acreage over and above the land holding limit. In recent years, ways have been devised to circumvent the Act. It remains to be seen if the amended Act will prevent such activity from taking place.
I hope you will all plan to attend our District Convention on Wednesday, April 20 at the Milton Community Hall, and I look forward to seeing you then.
NFU District Director