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I felt great disappointment, and an even greater irreverence for the P.E.I. Potato Board after reading their recent Guardian piece (Fighting for the same thing, Dec. 30) submitted in response to an opinion piece by the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island (Issue is not urban versus rural, Dec. 16). The P.E.I. Potato Board ’s response was an insult to Islanders. Apparently, our perception and what we actually see happening in our communities is an “unclear and unproven perception”.
The board members who signed the letter criticized the coalition for “not acknowledging that we are all essentially fighting for the same thing – informed, evidence-based decisions for the use and protection of our water resources on P.E.I.” That “farmers agree that water should be protected, conserved and used responsibly”.
Then, the board played the victim card, that farmers are being denied water. Apparently, you are the only Canadian farmers whose “access to water is held hostage by an unclear and unproven perception of what constitutes sustainable agriculture.” You are “well past the point of patiently waiting”, are you? Really, how ironic. Actions speak a whole lot louder than words, sirs. Many of your members are obviously not interested in waiting for the “evidence-based decisions for the use and protection of our water resources on P.E.I.” as they scramble to put in holding pond after holding pond. Drilling multiple wells, running pumps 24 hours a day until the ponds are filled.
Then, the episode this past summer, when potato farmers drew irrigation water from a river when it was not environmentally sound to do so. How was that “protected, conserved and used responsibly”?
The board’s letter shows the sense of entitlement and non-accountability for past and current harmful farming practices. This came through loud and clear. I suggest to Island farm families that we consider who is speaking and acting for us. I doubt, it is the P.E.I. Potato Board.
Farmer, livestock and vegetables