Today I got to travel through some of
the south eastern part of the province. I’d been past a lot of it
before, and some of it was new to me. I enjoyed the scenery very
much, especially Cape Spear which overlooks the Northumberland
Strait. The only part that saddened me was the amount of abandoned
farms. It seems everywhere you go in this province there are more
and more of them being deserted.
You can’t blame the farmers. I’ve been
there. It’s tough. Especially in a province who’s government does
so little for agriculture. But at the same time it’s scary. So much
of our food now is imported from other provinces and other countries.
We’ve become dependant on other people to feed us. It makes me
wonder what would happen if our cheap imported food suddenly became
super expensive because of weather disasters or other problems. What
would we do?
It’s not like it can’t be done here. A
stone’s throw from Cape Spear is Confederation Bridge, the link
between us and Prince Edward Island. Cross that span and you land in
one of the farming capitals of Canada. Potatoes, beef and dairy
farms are everywhere. True, their red loam is different that what’s
here, but that doesn’t mean other crops won’t thrive in our soil.
Sadly, I doubt that’s going to happen unless things change.
Everytime you turn on the news, it
seems the government is giving buckets of money to corporations to
create a few jobs. Why not throw some of it at agriculture? Why not
create some new programs to get these old farms producing again?
Every farmer that leaves the workforce to resume farming makes a job
opening for someone else, someone that could be on social assistance
or EI. Those same farmers would also create jobs in the long run.
The unemployment rate would be lowered and we’d have a more reliable
source of food, closer to home. New programs sound expensive Mr.
Premier? When a can of peas costs five dollars, it’ll seem like a