Representatives from the Prince Edward Island Potato Board travelled to Ottawa for a meeting with Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau to discuss the P.E.I. potato export ban to the United States on Thursday, Dec. 2, a Dec. 3 news release says.
“This trade issue is hitting our Island farmers and economy hard,” John Visser, P.E.I. Potato Board chair says in the release. “We really valued the opportunity to sit down with officials like Dr. Mithani to talk about how we can work together to quickly resolve this matter.”
The release notes P.E.I. is the largest potato producing province in Canada and the board is estimating more than 300 million pounds of potatoes are stranded on the Island due to the closure.
“We used the time to talk in detail with Dr. Mithani and officials about the urgency of the matter,” Greg Donald, PEI Potato Board general manager, says in the release. “We talked about the need for timelines and a clear plan to get the border open. Ultimately, we’re talking about a perishable product that needs to get to market, now.”
All four members of Parliament from P.E.I. were in attendance at the meetings including P.E.I.’s Minister of Agriculture Bloyce Thompson, the release says.
“The meeting was definitely a strong show of support from our Prince Edward Island Members of Parliament and provincial officials,” Visser says. “We know and feel our fellow Islanders have our backs, and that we’re not alone.”