The report of the 2018 Cooper Institute Social Justice Symposium features presentations by NFU members Reg Phelan, Edith Ling and Doug Campbell, as well as Gary Schneider. The full report follows, or you can download it as a pdf: Lands Symposium Report 2018.
The objectives of the symposium were to:
- examine the meaning and significance of the spirit and letter of a legislation,
- review the history of the “Voices for the Land”,
- identify why and how the Lands Protection Act has been (and is being) misinterpreted to serve a few interests,
- discover some of the loopholes in the Lands Protection Act, and
- identify practical and doable community action to strengthen the Lands Protection Act.
Debbie Theurekauf (Cooper Institute), with Edith Ling, Reg Phelan and Doug Campbell of the NFU
Editorial by Douglas Campbell, published in the Charlottetown Guardian,
March 17, 2018
It is a matter of days since the National Farmers Union (NFU) participated with over 65 Islanders in a symposium on the Lands Protection Act: The Spirit and the Letter. Loopholes in the Act were high on the list of participants’ concerns about the implementation of the Act. This week, veteran, volunteer land-acquisition researchers advised the National Farmers Union of a specific case in Kings County which should shock any Islander. Continue reading
Saturday, March 3rd, 1-4 pm
Milton Community Hall
Cooper Institute’s annual Social Justice Symposium in honour of Father Andrew Macdonald aims to clarify the need for legislation to faithfully reflect the intent and purpose (the spirit) of an act in the form of enforceable laws (the letter). Recent spirit/letter work in the formation of the newly passed PEI Water Act will provide lessons to understand better what is happening to the PEI Lands Protection Act (LPA).
The interactive event will begin with a panel discussing the spirit and the letter of the Lands Protection Act, the history of PEI voices for the protection of land; how and why the Act is often misinterpreted; and the loopholes in the Act. Panellists are: Marie-Ann Bowman with Reg Phelan, Douglas Campbell, and Edith Ling. Event participants in discussion groups will share what they recognize as positive action to enhance the LPA role as protector of the land and what action Islanders can take to require government to strengthen the Act.
The symposium is held in memory of Father Andrew Macdonald, a founder of Cooper Institute and composer of the song “No! No! Don’t Sell PEI”. Tony Reddin will lead a rendition of that song. Internationally-acclaimed singer/song writer, Teresa Doyle will perform her own songs related to land protection.
There is no entry fee. Subsidies are available on request for travel and child/elder care. Refreshments will be served.
All land lovers are welcome. Register here.
Regional Director Reg Phelan and District Director Doug Campbell appeared before the committee on November 2. They spoke about the ways in which the spirit and intent of PEI’s Lands Protection Act have been violated. As a result of their presentation, the Committee will ask for three entities – Cavendish Farms, Vanco and the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute to appear before them to provide more detail on their transactions. You can read the entire presentation here.
Coverage in the Charlottetown Guardian can be found here.
And the CBC-PEI story is here.
Letter to the Editor by Doug Campbell, published in the Charlottetown Guardian
October 23, 2017
The National Farmers Union (NFU) is alarmed by the rate at which farmland is being transferred to large corporate interests. Islanders, especially those in rural communities, know that all around them, land is being transferred generally in non-transparent transactions. What is involved is frequent and widespread under-the radar transfers of large quantities of land to interlocked corporations and to foreign investors. Without much apparent concern on the part of Government, PEI is now a victim of the well-known global land grab.
The PEI Lands Protection Act is the envy of many people in other jurisdictions. However, the NFU has known since the early 80’s that limits on acreage ownership is an important aspect of the Act, if the loopholes regarding these limits were either closed or closely monitored. However from the very beginning the NFU has made a distinction between the letter of the law and its spirit and intent. Premier Angus MacLean, who is the politician credited with proposing the Lands Protection Act was clear that the protection of the land is more than legal ownership. It was understood with the passing of the Act that land protection would require watching over who control land and how they do that. Continue reading