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Letter to the Editor: Douglas MacCallum

March 17, 2021

Dear Editor,

I admit I just shook my head when I listened to the recent CBC interview with Greg Donald, general manager of the PEI Potato Marketing Board. The interview was in regards to a media release put out by the board to address what it described as myths by a small group of Islanders that farmers will run streams and wells dry. Donald said decisions on holding ponds need to be based on facts and evidence, not fear–mongering. He said he is hearing more and more concerns from what he describes as some " special interest" groups. Donald’s interview can be read online at CBC.

So I ask, is the PEI Potato Marketing Board not a special interest group with an agenda? Does it not also represent a small group of Islanders? I wonder do all the farmers it claims to represent feel equally represented at the table.

I think the PEI Potato Marketing Board can take credit for putting out into the public a number of myths, and it has done its fair share of fear mongering. An example would be the recent campaign telling the public that farmers were being denied their fair share of water, and suffering greatly because of it. Yet in his recent statement, Mr. Donald said ponds have been used for supplemental irrigation for years; they’re legal, permitted by the province, and monitored by the province. It seems that first came the fear mongering followed by the myths.

Mr. Donald said some farms will struggle to survive another summer of drought conditions. Apparently this is the justification for the run on building holding ponds. So, Mr. Donald, is the lack of rain the only reason these farms are struggling? Would it really upset the big players in the potato processing game to see a number of family farms picked off?

There are some many questions Mr. Donald, and it appears there are so few answers that are not filled with myths, fear-mongering and agendas.


Douglas MacCallum

Brackley Beach

I am a beef farmer in Brackley Beach.

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