Canada Mulls Aid For PEI

Published online: Feb 20, 2001
Canadian Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief said he would continue to push for a financial aid package for Prince Edward Island potato growers.

PEI growers have been harmed by the border blockade of PEI potatoes because of the potato wart fungus found in a field of potatoes last fall.

The government will give money to help cover the cost of removing surplus potatoes now held in PEI warehouses. There will also be money to try to find markets for other stocks.

Vanclief said he would continue to fight to get the U.S. market re-opened to PEI growers. Canada has launched a North American Free Trade Agreement case against the U.S., claiming the border was closed for political rather than health and science reasons.

"Even if they open the border, we have made the decision to go forward with the challenge," Vanclief said. "What they have done is wrong."

He rejected proposals to block American potatoes from entering Canada in retaliation.