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More vague promises for P.E.I. farmers

John Barlow, Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, Dave Epp, Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, and Richard Lehoux, Conservative Deputy Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, released the following statement following United States authorities indicating they ‘expect’ to ‘soon’ allow exports of table stock potatoes from P.E.I.:

“After months of miscalculations and Liberals pushing false hopes, hardworking P.E.I. farmers once again received a vague promise of a solution. While Liberal MPs couldn’t be bothered to support their constituents, MP John Barlow and the Conservative Party worked tirelessly on the island and in Parliament to bring attention to this avoidable crisis.

“Yesterday, U.S. regulators announced they would allow P.E.I. table stock potatoes to be exported again into the contiguous United States — at some yet-to-be-determined date — while questions remain around seed and processing potatoes. Again, this is not an end to this tumultuous time for P.E.I. farmers, rather another instance in a pattern of vague messaging and broken promises. On countless occasions since this crisis began, Minister Bibeau has said the solution would be arriving ‘soon’, and time and time again left P.E.I. farmers disappointed. How can they be sure this time will be different while so many questions remain?

“Without a formal agreement between Canada and the U.S. on the future of P.E.I’s potato industry there is no guarantee to avoid a similar crisis in the future.

“Simply, P.E.I. farmers cannot put their trust back into the hands of the NDP-Liberal government. Throughout this ordeal, the government has proven themselves ambivalent to the urgency of this situation, and there is still no solution and potentially additional barriers for this critical Canadian industry, making it impossible to plan properly for a prosperous future.

“Conservatives call on Minister Bibeau to secure the actual date P.E.I. potatoes will be able to be exported into the U.S. free of non-tariff trade barriers and sit at the negotiation table to guarantee P.E.I. gets a fair and long-lasting deal for their world-class potato industry.