(Download the newsletter in pdf here)
To the membership of District 1, Region 1:
I am pleased to bring you this newsletter along with which you will find a new pamphlet which we have prepared on this great organization – why it is called National Farmers Union, what the Union stands for, how you can help out with this work, whom your elected representatives are in P. E. I., etc. Please have a look at this, and it certainly is useful information to have when talking with your neighbours about joining the National Farmers Union.
Your District Directors, National Board Member and Local Presidents have been quite busy since fall, addressing the agricultural issues of the day as well as attending many meetings. In late November, a group of members attended the National NFU Convention in Saskatoon. The theme of the 47th Convention was Climate Change. Many interesting speakers and panel discussions were part of this convention. Reg Phelan is once again our National Board member along with Ted Wiggans from New Brunswick. Jan Slomp was re-elected National President.
Climate Change & Food Sovereignty Meeting Hosted by Cooper Institute – will take place at the Milton Community Hall on Saturday, March 11 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Guest speaker will be Nettie Wiebe, former National President of the National Farmers Union.
District Convention – Plans are being made to hold our annual District Convention on Tuesday, March 28 , 2017 at the Milton Community Hall in North Milton. Mark the date on your calendars now and watch for more information to come. (Storm date is March 30, 2017). It is likely that Local meetings will be held before that time. Be sure to present any resolutions to these Local meetings. If passed they will go on to District Convention. That is one of the really important features of the National Farmers Union. Members at the grass-roots level can present resolutions which, if passed, can go all the way to the National Convention (to the latter convention if the resolutions are national in scope).
Website – In keeping with a resolution passed at the last District Convention, work is being done to develop a website for the NFU in this province. We feel this will be beneficial to our members as it will be a source of information on issues, upcoming events, etc.
Soil Meeting – Plans are in the works for the NFU to host a public meeting on the issue of soil health. An agronomist from Quebec who is very knowledgeable on this subject could be one of the speakers. If arrangements can be made, we hope to also have a lady from the U.S. who is a renowned speaker on new ways to detect organic matter in the soil. We know that this topic is of utmost importance to farmers and so it is timely indeed. ………2 (over)
Memberships and Canvassing – Plans are being made to hold several canvassing afternoons in each Local across the province. If you can spare an afternoon or so for this important work, please let me know. If we all do a little, great results can be achieved.
Newsletters by Email – If you prefer to receive newsletters from the District or Local by email instead of a hard copy, please email our District Secretary, Dan Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Excise Tax on Home Heating Fuel – It has come to our attention some individuals have been charged excise tax on home heating fuels since August 2016. Island Petroleum has been contacted and advise that NFU members will be receiving a call from them and asked to complete a form to exempt you from paying excise tax on home heating fuel. If you have not received this call, please contact Island Petroleum at 902-566-5011. If you have been charged excise tax on your home heating fuel since August 2016, you are entitled to be reimbursed by the company.
Meeting with Minister of Communities, Land and Environment – On January 19, 2017 several NFU members met with Hon. Robert Mitchell to discuss the acquisition of large amounts of land in this province by several entities. We recommended that loopholes in the Lands Protection Act be closed so that large corporations cannot continue to form other corporations and thus own huge amounts of land. We also asked that the practice of double counting of leased land be re-instated as we feel the elimination of double counting has resulted in large operations owning and controlling more land. We also asked that non-arable land be defined as forest land, swamp, wetlands, etc. as it was previously. This definition has been changed to include any land as non-arable if a crop has not been planted on it in the preceding four years. We also discussed the Municipal Governance Act, and were told by the Minister that taxation in the new municipalities will be based on service. About 30% of farmland is in municipalities now. Forced amalgamation of communities will not take place.
Meeting with Premier Wade MacLauchlan – After six months of our requesting a meeting, the Premier has finally agreed to meet with the National Farmers Union on January 30, 2017. We will be discussing many issues of concern to farmers in this Province at that time and, as always, advocating for the best interests of our members and all other farmers in the province. If you would like to have a copy of this presentation, please call Edith Ling at 902-368-1262.
Please feel free to contact any of your elected people in this District if you have any questions or concerns. We are: Douglas Campbell, District Director – phone 902-436-2518; Women’s District Director, Edith Ling – phone 902-368-1262 and Youth District Director, Byron Petrie – phone 902-213-5862. National Board Member is Reg Phelan at 902-962-2428. Our job is to represent you and assist you in any way possible. Look for more upcoming information on our District Convention and other meetings.
Douglas Campbell, District Director