P.E.I. farmers will not have the same access to Canadian Food Inspection agency employees with the closure of the office in Borden-Carleton, says Malpeque MP Wayne Easter.
The CFIA is terminating its lease at the P.E.I. Potato Board facility in Borden-Carleton. The seven staff -- six inspectors and one supervisor -- work primarily with growers to help protect potatoes against disease. They will be relocated to existing offices in Charlottetown and Summerside.
In an email to Easter, CFIA's P.E.I. regional director Bruce Lyng said the move comes after an efficiency review.
"Regional geographic service delivery boundaries will be re-established from an efficiency perspective," wrote Lyng.
"There will be no impact on service levels to regulated parties, as a result of the movement of staff to their new delivery points."
Easter said he has heard from several farmers concerned about the office closure.
"They will claim government efficiency. But what about farm efficiency and working on the farms and the farmer's ability to drop in and see an inspector? Much easier to do in the Borden area where a lot of the farmers in the community are, rather than in an office in a downtown area," he said.
"The whole purpose I think of CFIA and its service to the farm community gets lost in some of these cutbacks by the current government."
Lyng also noted the larger offices in Charlottetown and Summerside will provide better back-up resources for the inspectors.