District Newsletter – March 15, 2017

(Download the newsletter in pdf here)

Hello to all NFU members in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia:

District Convention – Plans are now almost complete for our District Convention which will take place on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the Milton Community Hall, 7 New Glasgow Road.

The location is at the intersection of highways 7 and 224 in North Milton. (Storm date is March 30). The registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting getting underway at 10:00 a.m. Registration fee is $20 per person and will include a meal at noon. Financial assistance is available to any members who require child care that day in order to attend the meeting. Please call Edith Ling at 902-368-1262 about this if needed. Reports on the past year’s activities will be given by the directors and elections will be held for the positions of District Director, Women’s District Director and Youth District Director. The Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Alan McIsaac will speak to the meeting immediately after the noon meal. Following that, we will view the video, “Islanders and the Land”. This video, produced by Don Kossick, will feature P. E. I. farmers and will depict their concern for the preservation of farmland in this Province. A representative from the Workers’ Compensation Board will bring members up to date on the mandatory inclusion of farm workers under that program. Our keynote speaker, of course, is our National President, Jan Slomp. He will be speaking on the “State of Canadian Agriculture and What That Means for Rural Canada”. That is a very appropriate topic when we consider what is going on in this Province with regard to the grabbing of land, the possible closure of schools and the move to centralization in general. Resolutions will be considered during the day. If you have a resolution which you wish to have dealt with, please contact any one of the Resolutions Committee members. The following is the list of Committees for our Convention this year:

Resolutions Committee: J.P. Hendricken, Gordon Carter, Ranald MacFarlane

Registration Committee – Mary Carter, Vernon MacLeod

Nominating Committee – Reg Phelan, Darren Toombs, Muncey Gallant and Elwin Wyand

Elections & Credentials Committee – The Convention chairpersons

Website – In accordance with a resolution passed at the last District Convention, I am pleased to let you know that the NFU in this province now has a website. It can be found at nfu-pei.ca and on the website you will find the link to the NFU Facebook page.

Collective Bargaining on Fuel – The Collective Bargaining Committee was successful in negotiating our fuel agreement with Island Petroleum Ltd. The same deal will apply for this year as for 2016. Farmers will receive the rebate at the time of delivery of the fuel. In order for this to happen, please make sure that Island Petroleum knows you are a member of the NFU.

Otherwise, you could miss out on receiving this discounted price to which you are entitled. On the matter of fuel – since August 2016 some people engaged in farming were mistakenly charged Excise Tax on deliveries of their home heating fuel. There is no Excise Tax on home heating fuel so if this happened to you and it has not been corrected, please get in touch with Island Petroleum at 902-566-5011 or 902-436-2211 in order to be reimbursed for the amount of the Excise Tax you may have been charged.  Included with this newsletter, you will find a promotional brochure from Island Petroleum.

Land & Water- Your elected people have been very busy dealing with the situation with regard to farmland in this province. We are very concerned to see the spirit and intent of our Lands Protection Act constantly being eroded. We are awaiting some word from IRAC in regard to requests we have made. Hopefully, we will have more information to share with you at the time of our District Convention. We eagerly await the release of the draft Water Act. We need to carefully look at this piece of legislation and take part in public meetings on this Act.

Meetings with Political Parties – We have met with Premier Wade MacLauchlan (after waiting over six months for an appointment). One could say the meeting was cordial, but it did not appear that the Premier shared our great concern for farm families here with particular reference to the land. We met with the Progressive Conservative caucus. Although only two members of that caucus made themselves available for the meeting, we did have a good discussion and sharing of information. We also met with the leader of the Green Party, Peter Bevan-Baker whose vision for agriculture in this province seems to be similar to the NFU’s vision. We had a meeting scheduled with Mike Redmond, Leader of the NDP as well, but unfortunately he had to cancel because of a family emergency that evening.   With the above efforts we have made, we hope to see agriculture given prominent attention in the spring session of the Provincial Legislature.

NFU Information Pamphlet – I hope you found helpful our new NFU information pamphlet included in our last newsletter. There was one typing error in that – Urban Laughlin is the President of Local 102, not Local 104. By the way, Local 102 plans to meet on Thursday evening, March 23, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. at the Sherbrooke Community Center.

Lobster Supper – Looking further ahead, the annual NFU lobster supper is being planned for Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Kinkora Place.

Regional Meeting – Looking ahead even further, our Region 1 annual meeting will be held in PEI this year, likely sometime in early August.

Please make every effort to attend our District Convention on Tuesday, March 28 , 2017 and engage in the discussions and in the decisions made to improve the situation for all farm families. Hope to see you there.

Douglas Campbell, District Director                                                                                     Telephone: 902-436-2518

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