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NEWSLETTER for MAY 29, 2023

TO THE MEMBERSHIP OF REGION 1, DISTRICT 1:


There are quite a few updates to share as we head into summer!


Lobster supper on June 10th

The lobster supper is back this year and will be taking place at 7:30pm on June 10th at the North Shore Community Centre in Covehead. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased from Edith Ling (902-368-1262), Doug Campbell (902-598-7731), Elwin Wyand (902-628-5875), Byron Petrie (902-213-5862), Cheryl MacEwen (902-675-2557) and Randall Affleck (902-432-0930). Please give them a call to buy a ticket if you’d like to attend. Members are also asked to bring a salad or dessert to share. Meat will be available for those who do not eat lobster.


Welcome new board directors

Two new directors have joined the District 1 board after being voted in at this year’s District Convention on April 19th. Karen Fyfe is the new Women’s Director for Region 1, District 1, and Travis Cumminsky is the new Youth Director. Douglas Campbell was re-elected as District Director.


Land forum update

Community members concerned about land ownership in PEI gathered recently on May 27th in Kensington for the 4th forum in the ‘Whose Land is it Anyway?’ series. The series has been hosted by the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands, which the NFU continues to be actively involved in. Video footage of the event is available on the Facebook page of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Lands. There is also an upcoming rally planned for Thursday, June 8. The rally will be starting at noon outside the Coles Building in Charlottetown. The goal is to put some pressure on the Premier to answer two questions which have so far been evaded: First, the petition signed by 2,500 people asking for the disastrous work at Pt. DeRoche to stop and that there be a moratorium on shoreline development in this Province. Second, a response from the Premier as to whether he will set in motion a public inquiry into land transactions in PEI. Neither request has been acknowledged by the Premier, hence the need to rally outside the Coles Building and make our voices heard. Please do plan to attend on June 8 and help impress upon the Provincial Government that it is not acceptable to ignore requests from groups who take seriously the preservation of land and the environment in this province.


Basic Income update

Work is ongoing to put in place a basic income demonstration program on the Island. In 2020, the Legislative Assembly in PEI voted unanimously to establish a basic income program in the province, and this decision was reaffirmed by party leaders in the Legislature in 2022. Coalition Canada hence formed a team of former federal MPs, current MLAs, economists, advocates and policy experts (some of whom are NFU members) that has been working for over a year on a proposal for an attainable Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) Demonstration Program in PEI. Recently, Coalition Canada has created a Federal Government Paper Petition and has asked that MPs present this petition in the House of Commons, as a way of increasing discussion and support of a BIG Demonstration Program in the province.


Coalition Canada is clear in making the case for a BIG that it must be thought of and implemented as an income floor, and not as a measure to replace existing support structures and social safety nets (i.e. other government support programs) (Agriculture Case for Basic Income, 2023). Those existing programs must continue to provide support, and that support would be greatly supplemented by a BIG. A BIG Program in PEI (in addition to existing government support) would support the livelihoods of farmers and farm workers, as well as new farmers entering the agricultural sector. It would also support farmers in the off-season, and help revitalize rural communities and support a more resilient food system (Agriculture Case for Basic Income, 2023). Because of these benefits to farmers and to all Islanders, the NFU supports the creation of a Basic Income Guarantee Demonstration Program in PEI. For more documentation on this, or to receive updates about the ongoing effort to establish a BIG Demonstration Program in PEI, please contact Marie Burge at the Cooper Institute: cooperinstitute@eastlink.ca.


Update from District 1 Staff Person

As you may know, I was hired by the NFU to do membership work here in PEI this spring. I have travelled around the Island meeting farmers and hearing about current issues, stories of past NFU actions, and talking about what we as a Union can accomplish when we work together. To all of you who I have had the chance to talk to over these last couple of months, thank you for sharing your time, knowledge and experiences with me.

As a young farm worker and aspiring farmer, I learned a lot through my work with the NFU this spring, and I feel more certain than ever that we need a strong collective voice advocating for farmers here in PEI and across the country. I hope the future sees more new and young farmers getting involved with the NFU and carrying on the important work of advocating from family/co-operative farmers of all backgrounds in PEI, as current members have been dedicated to doing for many years. Though I am stepping away from this work for now as my contract comes to an end this week, I hope to have the opportunity to connect with some of you again and to continue being involved in some capacity in the future.

For now, wishing you all the best this summer and beyond.


In solidarity,

Elizabeth Cyr


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