I am extremely disappointed by the federal government’s decision to ban all fresh PEI potato exports to the US. This decision, as admitted by the federal agriculture minister, is a political decision. It is a harmful choice that does not follow scientific evidence and is extremely damaging to Island Farmers, as well as our reputation as a responsible agricultural province.
This unilateral decision, made without consultation or demonstrated concern for Island farmers, is devastating. It is never the right time to play politics with the livelihoods of people, especially those who are dedicated to providing quality food to countless millions.
I join Premier King, Minister Thompson, the PEI Potato Board, and all Islanders in calling on the federal government to immediately reverse its poor and ill-advised decision.
I also call on the federal government to provide critical financial support to Island Farmers harmed and jeopardized by this political decision to appease a trade partner.
I am also asking Island MPs to call on the federal minister to reverse this decision. These MPs—some of whom have many years experience in agriculture— know the vital importance this sector plays in our Island economy and must do everything they can to represent the voices of Islanders in Ottawa.
Honourable Peter Bevan-Maker, MLA New Haven-Rocky Point
Leader of the Official Opposition
Official Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Land