Free Trade Deal
Editor: Long-time P.E.I. Tory Garth E. Staples has taken exception to comments a UPEI professor made on his letter a while back “UPEI professor walking in the halls of theory,” today’s Guardian). Knowing his years of work for the PC Party of P.E.I., I’m not surprised he would be a strong supporter of Stephen Harper.
One thing that does surprise me, though, is his support of Harper’s free trade dealings. He says “the Prime Minister has managed to successfully conclude free trade agreements with Europe, etc.” I’m sure someone as well-versed in world events as he, would be aware that this free trade deal with the European Union would leave the supply management system of Canadian farmers, P.E.I. farmers in particular, open to removal entirely. So, instead of having at least our dairy and egg farmers with some sort of certainty, he’s willing to let that go and have these farmers struggle against undercut prices from foreign farms who receive subsidies from their governments to allow them to sell well below our farmers’ costs.
We have seen how little food security we have here on P.E.I. after the bridge closed for a couple days. At least we can still access local eggs and milk. Try doing that when those staples come from the U.S. or Europe, sit in an Ontario warehouse and, God forbid, our bridge closes for a week or more.
No offence, Mr. Staples, but that Canadian democracy you spoke of doesn’t always seem to speak for the majority of us when it comes to ‘free’ trade.