North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

In search of ‘The Potatonator’: Where’s ‘Captain Canada’ on the potato crisis in Prince Edward Island?

Mike Nabuurs, P. Ag., of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is a commercial and agri-business manager with one of the five big chartered banks and a past executive director of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture. He wrote an op-ed piece on the potato wart ban in Prince Edward Island that was published online by Saltwire today – below is a brief excerpt.

“On March 9, 1995, under orders from then prime minister Jean Chretien and minister of Fisheries and Oceans Brian Tobin, a Canadian fisheries patrol vessel fired warning shots across the bow of a Spanish trawler that had been fishing turbot illegally off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. These shots were fired as the culmination of a hard-fought trade dispute between Canada and the EU. It was done to demonstrate Canadian resolve…

“Here we are in 2022 and, although our issue today is land-based, the potato wart trade dispute between Canada and the U.S. needs similar determination. Our potato sector is already battered and bruised due to years of low prices and difficult growing conditions. Finally, a year that saw above average yield, quality and market price, and our own Canadian government […] has closed table potato exports to the U.S.

“Brian Tobin earned the nicknames ‘Captain Canada’ and ‘The Turbotnator’ for his actions. Who will stand up to become a new Captain Canada today? …I think ‘The Potatonator’ is a great nickname…”

Source: Saltwire. Read the full story here
Photo: PEI potato farmers campaign in Ottawa during the potato wart crisis. Courtesy The Toronto Star

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