Easter hopeful of Borden-Carleton CFIA office can be saved

Colin MacLean colin.maclean@tc.tc
Published on July 25, 2014

A wet spot is avoided as a tractor and planter put in a crop of potatoes in a field off the Piusville Road Thursday morning. A cool, wet spring has left many farmers behind schedule but they have been making headway in the past week.

BORDEN–CARLETON – There may be some hope for those fighting to keep the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Borden-Carleton.

Reports emerged earlier this month that the CFIA was not planning to renew its lease at the P.E.I. Potato Board facility in the town and that its staff there would be moving elsewhere.

Malpeque MP Wayne Easter decried the move in a recent letter to media.  

Easter now says he’s had time to discuss the issue with CFIA management and he reports they seem open to “entertain other possibilities.”

“That to me makes a whole lot of sense. So at the moment there is some potential (to reverse the decision),” said Easter.

“If something can be done to accommodate them then that can be looked at – I don’t know what that might be, but it can certainly be looked at.”

Easter added that it’s not only the jobs at stake for the community, but also what that office stands for.

The potato washing station, as its casually known, is a model of co-operation between industry and government, he said, so it would be a real shame to let it disappear.

“This is a model that should be instituted other places across Canada, rather than undermining this one,” said Webster.

The station is used to examine and wash potato trucks coming off and going on to Confederation Bridge. CFIA also uses the building as its central base on P.E.I., sending officers out from there to do their field inspections and other work.

Borden-Carleton Mayor Dean Sexton said recently that to date, the town has had no communication from the CFIA.

The town has written letters to the other two levels of government asking for clarification on the situation, but has yet to hear back, said Sexton.

The mayor said that if the CFIA moves out from the washing station it could undermine the facility’s finances as a whole.

The Journal Pioneer sent requests to the CFIA Thursday morning asking for an update on the status of its Borden-Carleton office but none was available as of deadline. A spokeswoman did indicate, however, that a response would be forthcoming as soon as possible.