2019 National Convention – November 24-27

November 24 –  27 2019

Fifty years ago, the National Farmers Union held its very first national convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This year, we’ll be back to celebrate our achievements, honour the members whose dedication and wisdom helped us achieve so much, pass on the lessons we’ve learned along the way, and help shape our vision for our next fifty years on the front lines of agriculture.

Dates: November 24 evening, November 25 – 27 all day
Times: Nov. 24 pre-Convention social, registration and book launch 7 – 10 PM
Nov 25 – 27 Registration opens 8 AM
Nov 25 – Public Event – Avi Lewis keynote speaker 7 PM
Nov 26 – Banquet and Dance 6:30 PM – midnight (banquet tickets available in advance or at Convention desk until noon)
Location: Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park, 1405 St. Matthews Ave., Winnipeg.
Registration is in advance or at the door (Meals are not included in registration fees) Click here for advance registration and banquet tickets.

Hotel rooms at Canad Inns Destination Centre Polo Park,  Convention Room Rates: $119 (plus taxes) Single King bed or Double Queen beds (Parking included). Call: 1-204-775-8791 Ext. 5 (direct to hotel) or Email: shepner@canadinns.com Use room block #371730

Certified Organic Beef Producers at Macphail Homestead October 25

The Sir Andrew Macphail Foundation is pleased to announce that the owners of the PEI’s only certified organic beef farm will be presenting the 8th annual George McRobie Lecture at the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead, Orwell on Friday, October 25.  The McRobie speakers are Mike and Evelyn Lafortune owners of the Dexter Cattle Company, North Milton. 

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a reception offering a soup with biscuit ($6) and a cash bar, followed by the Lecture at 7 p.m. The title of the lecture is “Dexters – Climate Change Warriors“. 

The Lafortunes will share their practical experience as beef producers, marketers and organic producers.   Their philosophy of sustainability is focused on a holistic management approach with their Dexter cattle and the environment. Mike and Evelyn will speak about how the business decisions they make directly impact their own farm while contributing to their broader community and an enhanced local economy.  They recognize the opportunity on PEI for consumers to live close to where their food is produced.

Dexter cattle are a heritage dual purpose breed originating in Ireland. They are the smallest of the European cattle breeds. They stand at only 92 cm-107 cm at the shoulder and weigh on average 300 -350 kg.  

This special lecture series is named in honour of Dr. George McRobie.  Dr. McRobie was one of the world’s leading proponents of sustainable agriculture and appropriate small-scale technology. He was a close friend and colleague of the radical economist E.F. Schumacher, whose landmark book ‘Small Is Beautiful’ made such an impact in the latter part of the 20th century.

The Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead is located at 271 Macphail Park Road, Orwell.  Admission to the lecture is by donation.

Land Transactions: Government must exercise its people-given authority

By Douglas Campbell
District Director of the National Farmers Union

The National Farmers Union (NFU), like many other Islanders is still in shock after seeing the Irving family name on yet another land transfer. Rebecca Irving, the young daughter of Mary Jean Irving was able to put more PEI land under the Irving name. No one would dare suggest that Ms Irving’s newly crafted corporation, Red Fox Acres, is connected to Irving corporate empire.

In PEI, people have become accustomed to silence about how the Irving family has gained such wide ranging control. Some people are even afraid to speak out. That is understandable. However what is not understandable and very disheartening to watch is the apparent powerlessness of the PEI Government to exercise its authority in the face of corporate power.

The NFU has emphasized the need to place emphasis on enforcing the “protection” aspect of the Lands Protection Act, i.e, its spirit & intent. The loopholes in the Act have served the interests of the Irvings and others in the corporate sector. We have also warned about the lack of transparency in the MacLauchlan government’s Business Corporation Act. This act received unanimous support from all MLAs in June, 2018).

It is significant that when the Irving corporations, in their varied combinations, were no longer allowed to use the Lands Protection Act loophole, they found an open door in some provisions of the Business Corporation Act. The 2,200 acres to which they wanted titled ownership suddenly became the property of a newly formed corporation. Then an Irving family member, under the Business Corporation Act, was able to buy this new corporation and its assets aka, the 2,200 acres. All legal, they say.

Governments of the past did not display a simple deficiency of political will to protect the resources and life sources of PEI. Rather what they have displayed is a distorted political will to openly serve the interests of corporations. Do they think that the people do not see this? It is common to hear people say that it is corporations which run PEI, not government.

It is our belief any government which lurks behind the veil of powerlessness is unworthy to govern. This is an opportunity for a new government to take a different path to protect the Island, its land/water and its people. Our message to the current PEI Government is that you have the authority to make legislation. Now use it. You have the authority to replace any legislation or articles of legislation to protect the interests of Islanders. Now do it. You have the authority to declare null and void the latest Irving acquisition (and maybe some former ones). Now do it.

The NFU would like to see the Honourable Bloyce Thompson take a stronger stand against the latest Irving acquisition. He is not only minister responsible for agriculture and lands but also as Attorney General is the overseer of all legislation. Minister Thompson must be seen to take control of the situation. The same goes for Premier King, who in the fever of the election campaign vowed to make open and transparent the workings of the Business Corporation Act and its Regulations. Open and transparent government was his pledge to Island voters. We are still waiting to see the openness and transparency.

Building a Just and Sustainable Future

Climate Change, Indigenous Rights and Trade Justice

Public talk by Clayton Thomas-Müller

Wednesday, September 18, 7 pm at the PEI Farm Centre

Trade Justice PEI is pleased to announce that Clayton Thomas-Müller will be in Charlottetown on Wednesday, September 18 for a public speaking event, starting at 7 pm at the PEI Farm Centre. This event is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. Clayton’s talk is part of “Building a Just a Sustainable Future”, a series of events taking place on September 17th and 18th at UPEI and at the Farm Centre.

Clayton Thomas-Müller is a campaigner for indigenous rights and environmental and economic justice. He is based in Winnipeg, Canada, and is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan, in Northern Manitoba. He is a senior campaign specialist with 350.org, an international movement working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

Clayton has been involved in many initiatives to build an inclusive global movement for energy and climate justice. He serves on the board of environmental organisations such as the Bioneers; Black Mesa Water Coalition; Indigenous Climate Action and the Wildfire Project. He has campaigned across Canada and the US supporting indigenous peoples to defend their territories against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry, with a special focus stopping the expansion of the Canadian tar sands and its associated pipelines.

Trade Justice PEI, the host of the event, is a coalition of 20 groups, including the National Farmers’ Union, and individuals who are concerned about Canada’s current international trade agenda and who believe that it’s time for trade that is more democratic and environmentally sustainable, more supportive of a transition to a carbon neutral economy in which workers receive their fair share of the benefits, and more respectful of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

For more information, find Trade Justice PEI on facebook and Instagram @tradejusticepei, or email tradejusticepei@gmail.com.

Hamilton Heritage Day 2019

Saturday September 14th 10:00 A.M.—3:00 P.M.

Rain date Sunday September 15th same hours as above

Location:  Civic Address 2509 and 2556 Hamilton Road (Route 104)

Vintage Tractor & Equipment Display

10 A.M. – All day Tractor Plowing Clinic / Demonstration

12 P.M. – Slow Tractor Race (30 minutes) –Register on show day

1:00P.M.-3:00 P.M.- Walking tours and artifact description

Horse Section demonstrations (all day)

10 A.M. – 3P.M.

Horse tillage and ploughing demonstration

Threshing Demonstration

10 A.M. – 3P.M.

Massey Harris 5’ Binder and sheaves on display

Hall 4CA thresher operation on demand

Canteen sponsored by Kensington Area Guides and Scouts

Antique Engine Section, Mini Car and Truck Show

Continuous display & demonstrations available

All entries welcome show day (Run what you brung!)

Blacksmith Demonstration

All day- on demand activity on the forge and blacksmithing

Haying Demonstrations

11 AM –3 PM – Hay Loader, Dump Rake, Vintage Hay Tedder and more

Cream Separator demonstration

Alton & Rowena Ramsay and friends – Check with James Carruthers   on show day for further details

Vintage Saw, Shingle Mill & Wood Processing Demonstration

11:00 A.M – 2:00 P.M.

James Carruthers farm – Look for event location on sign show day