Doug Campbell, Director, NFU District One, District One
This is the full text of the presentation Doug Campbell made at the February 23, 2019 Forum hosted by the Coalition for Protection of PEI Lands.
The land grab is a worldwide phenomenon that is greatly impacting the landscape of Prince Edward Island. The Island should be protected from this phenomenon by the 1982 Lands Protection Act; a forward-thinking-piece of legislation of spirit and intent, and law to ensure Islanders retain the right to the ownership and use of their land. The Lands Protection Act is constitutional. Islander residents have the right to determine the ownership of their limited primary resource. We have a right to guard its stewardship for present and future generations of Islanders.
Ownership and control of the Island land has been an ongoing saga since the British claim to ownership through defeat of the French in 1759. Of course, neither the French not the English concerned themselves with the ethics of taking the land of the Mi’Kmaq people. How ironic this point is when one thinks of where we stand today with the current land grab. Force has been replaced with underhanded tactics. Continue reading
By Edith Ling, Women’s District Director of the National Farmers Union and a member of the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Land.
The Lands Protection Act was passed in this province in 1982 to prevent a large corporation of the day from amassing large tracts of land. In fact, this large corporation and a few others were forced to divest themselves of some land in order to comply with the Act. Individuals could own 1,000 acres of land and corporations were allowed to own 3,000 acres. When the Act was drafted, a corporation was considered to be family members, for example three brothers farming together or a similar combination of family members. Three individuals with 1,000 acres each added up to the 3,000 acreage limit for a corporation. We still have the Lands Protection Act in force today, so what has changed? Continue reading
GUEST OPINION BY EDITH LING
In response to David Weale’s opinion article in The Guardian Nov. 29, Alan Holman, in the Dec. 1, issue of the newspaper, expressed his opinion that farmers and many Islanders are not concerned about who owns the land despite the takeover of Island farm land by large corporations, including the Irving empire and the sale of precious farm land to Asian interests (GEBIS, etc.).
One of the main purposes of this act is to preserve Island farmland for farm families and to prevent the accumulation of farm land in the hands of large industrial corporations, i.e. the Irvings. Now, they and other large corporations have found loopholes in the act all with the apparent blessing of the provincial government.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Holman did not attend the meeting of the Select Standing Committee on Communities, Land and the Environment Nov. 1, 2018 and witness the snow job presented by Robert Irving. Mr. Holman would have easily seen a very smooth presentation in which Irving asked that the land limits under the LPA be increased for potato producers. Continue reading
GUEST OPINION BY DOUGLAS CAMPBELL – JUNE 28, 2018
The National Farmers Union (NFU) notices and welcomes the community’s new expressions of interest about the Lands Protection Act. Islanders know the painful history of the land and how easily it can be taken from the people. Now we are in a new era in how land transactions take place. In 2018, the style of take-overs is more hidden than they were in other times. However, on the community level, people know who is taking control of vast acreages. What is not clear to the Island population is why the Lands Protection Act seems to be powerless to stop the rapid land grab so obvious in the rural community. Continue reading
by Douglas Campbell
May 3, 2017
Published in the Charlottetown Guardian
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has continuously raised the alarm in public about the conditions in which PEI land is being transferred. We therefore welcomed the announcement of the Minister of Communities, Land and Environment, the Honourable Richard Brown, that he is initiating a review of non-resident and corporate land holdings. However, we have serious concerns about the Minister putting this task into the hands of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC). Continue reading