To the Editor
So Mr. Irving thinks he has us in a death grip by threatening to pull his business out of P.E.I. if the government doesn't lift the moratorium and allow widespread deep-water wells?
He wants to increase the quantity and improve his perceived quality of P.E.I. potatoes and he insists that the current water supply will no longer allow his standards to be met.
As I see it, this gives rise to two possible scenarios:
1.) Our government caves in and agrees to support big business.
– Short term, this would result in many of us experiencing dry wells and no drinking water - this has already happened in areas of P.E.I. close to deep well farming.
– Long term, even those deeper wells will dry up and then Irving will pull out from P.E.I. anyway, leaving many islanders out of work and more importantly with no water - you could call it high and dry (forgive the pun).
2.) Our government stands firm to protect our drinking water and refuses to be bullied or backed into a corner, causing Irving to close its Cavendish operation.
– Short term, current employees of Cavendish would be forced into unemployment and many potato farmers will have to scramble to find other buyers.
– Long term, the farmers can return to sustainable farming methods without having to abide by big business policies and demands, smaller entrepreneurs will fill the gap and create competition and employment, all islanders will be healthier with plentiful fresh water and without the heavy use of pesticides dictated by “Big Ag”.
Surely it is Mr. Irving's business to research, develop and fund methods of potato production and his responsibility to use currently available resources, rather than high-handedly insisting on using our drinking water, which he will ultimately exhaust. At that point he will move on elsewhere, away from P.E.I.
As a side note, does Mr. Irving expect that, if he pulls Cavendish from P.E.I., we will all continue to support his other enterprises? We Islanders are fair and patient people but also resourceful and resilient – we don't appreciate, or need to give in to “My Way or the Highway” ultimatums.
So, as the saying goes – “how do you like them apples, Mr. Irving?” Or should we say potatoes?!