200 oppose deep-water irrigation at meeting
Potato industry looking for an end to moratorium
About 200 Prince Edward Islanders attended a meeting Wednesday night with the goal of keeping a moratorium on deep-water irrigation wells in place.
The moratorium has been in place since 2001, but the P.E.I. Potato Board is lobbying to have it lifted. Biologist Darryl Guignon believes the province is pushing ahead in the interest of potato growers, without consulting other groups.
"Nope. None of us have been asked anything about this," Guignon told the crowd.
"Nor the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, nor the public! It's our water for heaven's sakes, and we can't even have an input in a water policy?"
John Joe Sark of the Mi'kmaq Grand Council added his voice Wednesday to those raised against the lifting of the moratorium.
"Please touch the hearts of the government of P.E.I., so that they will not allow the drilling of deepwater wells for irrigation of the potato fields within this beautiful province," he said.
Many MLAs attended the meeting to hear what the speakers had to say.
P.E.I. gets all its water from wells, and the environmental groups supporting the moratorium are concerned deepwater wells could affect both the quantity and the quality of what is available.
The Island potato industry says growers need more wells to stay competitive and to produce a higher quality crop.