Ghiz disappointed by McCain plant closure

Ryan Ross
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When it came to the provincial government helping McCain Foods keep its plant in P.E.I., Premier Robert Ghiz said there was nothing the province could do.

Ghiz said he met with the company Tuesday and the company didn’t ask for any help from the government, even when he offered.

“There was nothing I could offer to entice them to stay,” he said.

He made the remarks to the media after the company announced it will close its Borden-Carleton plant on Oct. 31.


McCain Foods employs 121 people at the plant and said it will provide severance packages along with $2 million to help with retraining.

Ghiz said it was disappointing to hear the plant was closing, but its production has been diminishing over the years. 

“I guess the writing’s been on the wall for a while,” he said.

With the plant closing, Ghiz said the government will work with McCain Foods to help find a new use for the plant or see it go another industry.

“I’m an optimist. I think whenever a door closes another can open up,” he said.

One thing that won’t happen is the plant being used by another potato processor, with Ghiz saying the company planned to remove all of the equipment in the building, leaving it empty.

“The only thing I can say is that we know that they’re not going to use the $2 million to provide for a competitor of themselves so you won’t see that $2 million being used for potato processing.”

Although he said he wished the company would keep the plant open, Ghiz also said it was McCain Foods’ decision to close.

“We’re gonna do our best to try and make sure that we can replace that within our economy.”

In a news release, Opposition Leader Steven Myers said the loss to the potato industry will be felt across the province and he fears the economic consequences will be worse if Ghiz and Agriculture Minister George Webster don’t take immediate action to fill the void.

“The potato industry is the largest economic driver our province has – no Islander can afford this loss,” Myers said.

Organizations: McCain Foods

Geographic location: Borden-Carleton

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Recent comments

  • voter
    August 08, 2014 - 09:09

    ummm.ahhhh, you know,but ah at the end of the uh day,um, well you know going forward, etc etc etc

  • m
    August 08, 2014 - 07:28

    The potato industry is the largest economic driver is correct and is also the problem. I bet most Islanders are willing to take the chance on no potatos grown in return for healthy waterways and clean air / soil. What do you think folks? If you agree...say so !! I will take the chance !!

  • Stewart Smith
    August 07, 2014 - 22:00

    So he tried throwing our (borrowed) taxpayer money at them? Ghiz is a man without a plan, and the sooner he quits the better off we'll all be.

      August 08, 2014 - 09:00

      If Cavendish Farms need more potatoes, they just inherited, at no cost, another 4000 acres, ergo. there is no need for deep water wells. I wonder what excuse they will use now? That their french fries aren't big enough?

  • same story
    August 07, 2014 - 18:53

    Robert Ghiz is a disappointment. He is saying the exact same thing as he said when the hog plant closed. We will find something else to put there. They found something else alright a dump that employs a few people . My god Ghiz give it up , get another job , leave the island.

    • GhiZ
      August 07, 2014 - 20:30

      Ghiz is a failure but in this case he is right. PEI needs to stop bailing out failed businesses. If McCain has decided they cannot make a profit here then they are right to leave.

    • bob suoivbo
      August 07, 2014 - 20:47

      It's not Ghiz's job to find something to put there.

  • Sally
    August 07, 2014 - 14:22

    He should be happy it's not costing the province $12 million like Testori.