Crane pledges more government advocacy for primary industries

Teresa Wright
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On the Campaign Trail

SOURIS - Tory Leader Olive Crane is promising to help the primary industries attain stronger advocacy in government by taking large-scale processors out of the agriculture and fisheries ministers' portfolios.

Crane held a news conference at a Souris farm Tuesday morning, outlining her commitment to work with farmers and fishers to help them increase their markets and find new ways to add value to their yields.

But one of the biggest concerns she said she has been hearing from people who work in these sectors is they are not feeling respected by the Robert Ghiz government.

"Agriculture and fisheries is the backbone (of rural P.E.I.)," Crane told reporters.

"What they're so disappointed with is there's just no respect there for their industries. It's like no one wants them anymore. But we do."

To give Islanders in these sectors more voice and representation by government, Crane made an election promise to separate the responsibility for food and fish processors out of those departments and move it into the Department of Innovation.

Crane said having the agriculture minister representing both farmers and big food processors like McCain's, for example, is a conflict of interest.

"Our agriculture minister should be your biggest advocate for the agriculture community," Crane explained.

"We need an agriculture minister that their priority is not only working with the industry and other provinces, but really working on getting that respect back."

Crane was joined in Souris Tuesday by two of her fellow Progressive Conservative candidates with farming and fishing backgrounds.

Mary Ellen McInnis, dairy farmer and PC candidate for Vernon River-Stratford, said she has heard many concerns from farmers especially on the doorsteps. They are worried about the future of these industries on P.E.I., McInnis said.

"We need to be able to keep our youth here and keep them involved in farming and be able to continue to grow our industry," she said.

Colin LaVie, who is challenging Innovation Minister Allan Campbell for the riding of Souris-Elmira, spoke of how he has seen first hand the difficulties faced by fisherman on P.E.I. He was highly critical of Campbell and the fact that he sold his lobster license in 2008 after being offered a cabinet post.

"My opponent, who is supposed to be our MLA and fisherman by trade, has traded in his fishing boots for a bright red tie and then forgotten where he came from," LaVie said.

"He has forgotten what it feels like for fishers in the area to struggle with low prices."

Crane pledged to work with the agriculture and fisheries sectors to find new markets and opportunities for products and to help increase value-added components to these products.

She also promised to negotiate with the federal government and try to establish greater stability for the prices of primary products.

Further, she promised to allow farm-plated vehicles to use marked diesel when operating on Island highways.

"The new PC team believes in the strength of our farming and fishing families as the strength of our rural economy," she said.

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: Department of Innovation.Crane

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Recent comments

  • JohnPEI
    September 14, 2011 - 14:06

    Its about time we got a leader who wants to make a difference,Liberals have had 4yrs to do for PEI and the only time I hear of them wanting to help is 3-4months before elections.Its their pensions they want,not the health and welfare of PEI...Wake up Islanders....we deserve better

  • Farmers Need Fuel
    September 14, 2011 - 07:04

    The farmers being able to use marked fuel is a huge investment in agriculture. It is also a brilliant plank in a platform of fresh ideas. Liberal and Tory farm trucks will save millions on this investment in agriculture by Olive Crane. We never saw Ghiz invest in agriculture in fact he has no farmer pals. The 500 million PNP did not help one farmer and the prince took on 500 million debt and no farmers in the picture................. This is an exciting campaign, Ghiz rated last in Canada in financial management, 47 million Ghiz lent to his new friend from Germany, millions loaned to Kevin Murphy. If you read your history its kind of funny what goes and comes around. ......... How about the list, young fella?

  • AMAZED
    September 13, 2011 - 22:30

    I think Pat Binns did enough to screw our fishery for many years yet to come ,we don't need frumpy Olive putting another dagger between our shoulders.At least show some respect and leave us suffer alone.

  • Red
    September 13, 2011 - 22:29

    Should be carried by all Islanders,Will anger the people who always vote Liberal.The truth hurts.

  • Hope
    September 13, 2011 - 19:20

    Thank tou Olive.Our future on pei depends on the success of our farm and fishing communities.Thank you for sending the mesage to all islanders that the success of CH.TOWN depends on the success of our farmers and fishers.When will The Liberals in CH.Town who run his campaign really get the message.Remember the fuss Mayor Tex raised when some sand from the farm show at old home wk. landed on a few parts of his cherished Civic Cent. He is Robert,s first hand man.Now do you understand?

  • Hmmm
    September 13, 2011 - 19:09

    I admire Crane's ambitious efforts to gain support in rural PEI. Our rural communities need the help. However, I question how she plans to fund all the things that she is promising rural PEI and families when she is cutting the PST too! I will vote for her, though, because she is the only one talking about a Youth Residential Addictions Treatment Centre, which is really needed here.

  • Seeing Red
    September 13, 2011 - 17:46

    Did anyone receive her little booklet today? I am not impressed by this latest attack measure.

    • Seeing Blue
      September 13, 2011 - 21:28

      Sometimes the truth hurts!!!! Keep up the great work Olive!

  • Great
    September 13, 2011 - 17:35

    When has farming and fishing created good jobs? Not in the past thirty years. It does create money for a small minority. So the official opposition wants us to put them back in power to do another Polar Foods and million dollar loans to crab fisherman. No Thanks!!!!

  • Fuod
    September 13, 2011 - 16:55

    Respect, fantastic......show some respect to the electorate.......Ghiz never did this!

  • Greeneyed Monster
    September 13, 2011 - 16:33

    This is great news for the farming and fishing sectors. It is true that the Island economy revolves around our three primary industries and it will be refreshing to have a Premier who finally recognizes this. How many hundreds of thousands of tax dollars have been wasted on vacations disguised as trade missions? None of which amounted to a hilll of beans! This Liberal government may be content to wait for the failing U.S. economy to rebound but industry is not. There is a world outside of Charlottetown, you know?