TO THE MEMBERSHIP OF DISTRICT 1, REGION 1 – I am pleased to bring you this newsletter to give an update on the work of the National Farmers Union in this District over the past couple of months.
FERTILIZER AGREEMENT – Members of the Collective Bargaining Committee recently met with PEI Agromart to negotiate a fertilizer deal for NFU members for this year. The following items comprise the agreement for 2017 which will be signed in the very near future:
(1) The commencement date of this agreement was April 1, 2017.
(2) The agreement on fertilizer purchases will be in effect until November 30, 2017. Farmers are encouraged to have their fertilizer accounts paid by that date. Rebates will be paid to farmers according to the amount paid by that date. The rebate to NFU members will be $8.00 per tonne, same as last year. The rebate paid on the Summerside Soil Amendment is $2.00 per tonne this year.
(3) P. E. I. Agromart will make payment owed to farmers and the NFU by Dec. 31, 2017. Please see the attached brochure from Agromart. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS A NFU MEMBER AT THE TIME OF EVERY PURCHASE. For more information on this program, please contact any of the Collective Bargaining Committee members – Gordon Vessey at 902-629-1332; Vernon MacLeod at 902-651-2406 or myself at 902-436-2518.
FUEL AGREEMENT – As noted in an earlier newsletter, the Collective Bargaining Committee has secured an agreement for NFU members with Island Petroleum. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ISLAND PETROLEUM KNOWS YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE NFU TO TAKE PART IN THIS PROGRAM.
LOBSTER SUPPER – Our annual lobster supper will be held on Saturday evening, June 3, 2017 at Kinkora Place in Kinkora. Supper will begin at 7:30 p.m. The cost will be $20 per person. The District will supply rolls and members are asked to bring a salad or dessert to share. Tickets are available from Douglas Campbell at 902-436-2518; Elwin Wyand at 902-963-2621; Reg Phelan at 902-961-2428; Byron Petrie at 902-213-5862, Blair MacEwen at 902-675-2557, Randall Affleck at 902-887-2597 or Edith Ling at 902-368-1262.
DISTRICT CONVENTION – Was held on March 28, 2017 with a good attendance. Your district directors were re-appointed by acclamation – myself as District Director, Edith Ling as Women’s District Director and Byron Petrie as Youth District Director. Four resolutions were passed. These were (1) that the Government be asked to introduce a voluntary land banking system; (2) that the Government prohibit absentee ownership and corporate control of PEI farmland; (3) that the “double counting” of leased land be re-established and (4) that the Government put into place a program to halt the unnecessary clear-cutting of Island forests.
TIGNISH HERITAGE INN – This Inn is owned by NFU member Peter Handrahan and is available for functions. It is a converted convent/school and seventeen rooms are available. For more information, please contact the owner at 902-856-1243.
LAND – The NFU continues to work on the land issue with particular reference to corporations forming many other corporations in order to be able to legally purchase more land. We are still awaiting word from IRAC on this practice which undermines the spirit and intent of the Lands Protection Act. We are also very concerned about the land purchases in Kings County by Asian investors. Work is continuing on this issue. It is not right that large parcels of land can be purchased by non-profit organizations and yet the land is not being used for production.
Water Act – The NFU made a submission on the draft Water Act in Charlottetown on April 10, 2017. Our presentation was very well received by those in attendance. We expressed disappointment that the issue of fracking and also that of high capacity wells for irrigation were not mentioned in the draft act. We need to be vigilant when it is time to review the regulations which should be available for review later this fall. The matter of holding ponds is of great concern as well. Initially a Dept. of Environment official stated that one well (low capacity) per pond was being allowed but later this was changed to one well per property identification number per pond. This is quite a difference and is a loophole that needs to be closed right away.
Meeting with Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries – The NFU will be meeting with Hon. Alan McIsaac on Monday, May 8, 2017. Among the issues to be discussed at this meeting are the land issue, the resolutions passed at our District Convention, the matter of requiring farmers to belong to a particular farm organization/commodity group in order to access certain Government funded programs, our concerns regarding holding ponds for agricultural irrigation, the Crop Rotation Act to be enforced, CFIA Regulations, etc.
Website – I hope you have enjoyed using our new website at nfu-pei.ca. I would encourage you to use the Facebook link as well and “like” it.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all members for their continued support of the work we are doing together. We are making a difference. Please call if you have any suggestions or concerns. I hope to see you all at our Lobster Supper in Kinkora on Saturday evening, June 3, 2017.
Douglas Campbell, District Director, telephone 902-436-2518